Auto Accidents

Certain Liens can be Roadblocks to Car Wreck Claims

Medicare/Medicaid

Medicare/Medicaid super liens cab be a major roadblock to getting your personal injury claim settled and paid. It is critical that you become aware that certain liens will completely block you from settling a claim without their consent.

If you are a beneficiary of Medicare, Medicaid, Tri-Care and most Health Insurance policies, if your coverage paid for any or all of the medical expenses of your claim, the company or government organization will need to provide an accounting for the expenditure if any to the Liability Insurance Company. Without an accounting and an agreement to resolve the payment debt, the liability insurance company will stale or refuse to pay you claim.

Hospital Liens

The Texas Hospital and Emergency Services Lien (Chapter 55 of the Texas Property Code) is based on a 1933 statute created to protect a hospital’s right to get paid for treatment rendered to accident victims.

It is important to note that this lien will not always apply. You must review the exact dates and times of the treatment for the Hospital to file a Lien against your case.

In order for a Texas Hospital lien to be valid, the patient must receive treatment within 72 hours of the accident. In addition, the lien covers any related treatment the patient receives within 100 days of the accident, including transfers to other hospitals, if an admission occurs within the first 72 hours. It can be argued, depending on the size of the County of where the Hospital is located, that such a lien can only be filed, if you actually were admitted into the Hospital. It can be argued that being seen by the ER doctor in the ER is not a true admission into the Hospital. Many attorneys are unfamiliar with this exception, thus if you have been in an accident, always hire an attorney that knows these rules forwards and backwards.

A hospital lien can attach to cause of actions, settlements and judgments. Even if the case is tried years later and a judgment is obtained, the lien will attach to it.

The lien must actually be filed in the County where the hospital is located. In order to comply with the statute a hospital must file written notice of lien with the county clerk where services were rendered or where the hospital is located. If the Hospital never gets around to actually filed the actual lien document at the courthouse then no lien exists!

An additional exception on Hospital Liens is that such liens do not attach to first party insurance proceeds, claims for workers’ compensation or claims filed under the Federal Employees Liability Act or Federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

Additionally, such Hospital liens also do not attach to wrongful death claims.

Additionally, the lien must identify the name and address of the injured party, the date of the accident, the name and location of the hospital where treatment was rendered and the name of the tortfeasor or at-fault party, if known.

Child Support Liens

Governed by the Texas Family code, section 157.317, child support liens can also create issues for a pending settlement.

An individual’s claim of negligence, personal injury, or workers’ compensation or an insurance award for a claim is subject to a lien for unpaid child support.

While child support liens can attach to real property, personal property and personal injury claims, they can’t attach to homestead real property or workers’ compensation payments that replace wages.

The child support lien notice must contain the name and address, case information, contact information and the amount in arrears needs to be paid or compromised and a release filed with the court.

Competing Liens

In the case of competing liens between Hospitals and Child Support, the hospital lien must get paid first or has priority.

IF YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION CALL OUR LAW FIRM AT 1.800.862.1260

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