What Do You Do If Your Personal Injury Case Has Liens?
Your lawyer will inform you to be wary of accepting money from an insurance company for your personal injury accident before you win your case in court or your claim. You could end up having a lien put on your penal injury settlement by the insurance company if you do!
Your personal injury lawyer in Lakewood, will tell you that any liens you may have on your personal injury settlement will get first priority in terms of payment before you receive a penny of the money. Now that you know this, you need to understand how the lien payment process works from the standpoint of your personal injury settlement.
Parties who may have a lien on your personal injury case
Any number of parties can place a lien on your personal injury settlement. Personal injury lawyers know that these are the more common ones:
● Agencies for unpaid state and/or federal taxes
● The state for child support that has not been paid yet
● Health clinics and hospitals for unpaid medical expenses/bills
● Medicare or Medicaid payments
● Prior payments from health insurance companies
● Payments from workers compensation insurance
● Short or long-term disability
● Other creditors
How will a lien end up on your personal injury case?
Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that liens can be placed on your settlement in a variety of different ways and for a variety of different reasons. Some agencies are legally entitled to place a lien on your settlement. They include state or federal tax agencies or child support agencies. They can place a lien on your settlement after having written your lawyer a formal legal letter stating their intention to do so!
Other parties like insurance companies can place a lien on your settlement if they have already paid you money for your personal injury accident. The lien is simply their way of recovering the money they have already paid you! Also, people who you owe money to can have a judge place a lien on your settlement through the courts. You want to make sure that your personal injury lawyer is negotiating with all parties who have placed a lien on your settlement. Doing so will ensure that you get to keep as much of your settlement money as possible.
The only real option you have if a lien is placed on your settlement is to legally prove that it was wrongfully levied (on your settlement!) This is a difficult process and often requires you to appear in court. Remember that your lienholders will get their share of the settlement before you receive a penny. This is why you want to have your lawyer negotiate with lienholders asap. If your lawyer is successful, your liens may be substantially reduced or even negated – that’s more settlement money for you!
You need to act fast
You will need to hire a good personal injury lawyer who can negotiate with your lienholders quickly if you have liens placed on your personal injury settlement and want to keep as much of the money as you possibly can.