What You Need to Know About Hospital Liens
You received a hospital lien and you are wondering what it means. More than likely, you were recently treated for an automobile injury at a hospital. If you were unable to pay the hospital bill out of pocket, or if you did not have insurance to cover things, then this is why you received the hospital lien. Hospitals use these liens to recover the costs associated with your stay at the medical facility.
In all likelihood, you signed a letter that was a part of your discharge papers that granted the hospital permission to submit a claim against your court awarded costs to pay any medical debts related to your medical treatment. As soon as your case is settled, the lien will make sure the hospital gets its share first.
What are the Hospital Lien Laws here in Oregon?
Hospital lien laws vary depending on the state. Here are a few key takeaways related to the law in Oregon:
- No later than 30 days after the discharge of the patient, the hospital must file a notice of lien substantially in the form prescribed in ORS 87.570 (form of notice), containing a statement of the amount claimed, with the recording officer of the county wherein such hospital is located.
- Prior to the date of judgement, award, settlement or compromise, the hospital must serve a certified copy of the notice of lien by registered or certified mail to the person alleged to be responsible for causing the injury and from whom damagers are or may be claimed or to the last-known address of the person or the insurance carrier that has insure the person alleged to be response. You can learn more details here at Oregon Laws.
Why Isn’t your Health Insurance Company Involved?
It all boils down to this: hospitals are hoping to come away with more money from your injury case settlement. If they go through your health insurance company, they are obliged to receive a contractual rate. With a hospital lien, the hospital may end up receiving the full amount of the original bill from the settlement. As you probably know, hospital charges tend to be on the high end, so these figures are much greater than the contractual rates that are attached to insurance companies. At the end of the day, it’s all about the money.
It was the Other Driver’s Fault. Shouldn’t the Other Driver’s Insurance Cover Everything?
If only things were this simple. Unfortunately, things are never this simple when dealing with injury claims. It often takes months for the other driver’s insurance company to offer you a settlement figure for your injury costs. Hospitals don’t want to wait that long. This means the hospital lien is sent to you.
What’s the Next Step?
Now that you know a little bit more about hospital liens and what they mean, you are probably wondering what comes next. Your next step should be to contact a Personal Injury Lawyer. Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys will make sure that the hospital does not take advantage of you in terms of how much is attached to the injury costs associated with your automobile injury. Contact us today to get a free case evaluation.
The accident attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss in Oregon will help you hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries. For dedicated personal injury legal representation, schedule a consultation with the lawyers at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss. Call 1-800-285-8678 today.