When you are involved in a car accident involving a commercial truck and you have medical bills to pay, you might not be able to pay them right away until your personal injury case has been resolved. When this occurs, and you eventually receive a settlement, a lien might be placed on your settlement by the medical provider. If this occurs, you might wonder how this might affect your settlement.
Liens and a Personal Injury Settlement
Truck accidents are very expensive due to the large size of a commercial truck. A lien is effectively the right of an individual to take possession of another individual's property until a debt has been paid. The courts might be able to require that the settlement be used to pay for your very high medical bills.
Parties Who Might Place a Lien on a Settlement
A healthcare provider is the most likely type of party that will place a lien on a settlement. This is not a problem in a no-fault state unless your auto insurance provider denies your claim and will not provide you coverage. In most states, you would want to seek compensation from the commercial truck driver.
Your health insurance provider has a policy limit that restricts how much they will compensate you for your injuries. However, if your medical expenses exceed the policy limit, the insurance provider might still cover your expenses and bill you for the difference. Under these circumstances, the health insurance provider may place a lien on your settlement so they can receive compensation.
How to Negotiate a Lien
A lien is not set in stone and you may be able to negotiate it. You will need to work closely with an attorney who is experienced in negotiating with lien holders and commercial truck companies. Because a lienholder very rarely receives the full value of the debt, they may be willing to settle for a lower amount.
However, you will also want to take into consideration the effects that settling might have on your credit. You may be better off simply negotiating an extension for when you will need to pay off your debts.
Insurance companies, whether they be your own or the insurance provider of the commercial truck company, are less willing to negotiate with someone who is not an attorney and are also more likely to give you a worse deal. They may also argue that you are not as injured as you claim. When you are able to reduce the amount that you will settle for, you will be able to keep a larger portion of your settlement.
Contact a local truck accident attorney to learn more.