What Is a Hospital Lien in Texas?
In the state of Texas, hospitals and other emergency medical providers are able to file a hospital lien. This enables the provider to place a lien or hold on payment from any money the injured victim recovers from a negligent third-party. In the simplest terms, an example would be if you got into a car accident due to the negligence of another party and you file a claim against them to recover damages, the hospital lien will automatically attach to that claim. This means that the hospital will receive payment from any compensation you receive before releasing the funds to you.
When Does a Hospital Lien Attach?
There are strict requirements that hospitals need to meet to consider a hospital lien valid. To attach a hospital lien to a claim, the hospital must first admit the patient within 72 hours of the accident and provide treatment for relevant injuries. This hospital lien will apply to emergency services at the admitting hospital and any other hospital that treats the patient for the same injury.
The hospital(s) will file an attached lien with the county records and send written notice of the lien to the patient. They must finish the hospital lien prior to the patient receiving any money from the negligent party’s insurance company. If the hospital tries filing after the patient receives any payout, the lien will be invalid. Although the lien may be invalid, the patient is still responsible for the bill whether the hospital properly files the lien or not.
Who Does a Hospital Lien Affect?
When a hospital lien becomes valid and attaches to a claim, the hospital lien affects multiple parties. The insurance company that is paying settlements and any lawyers, needs to check with the county clerk before making any payouts. If for any reason, they pay the parties involved before locating a hospital lien and settling the lien first, the hospital or emergency medical providers can sue the insurance company, lawyer, and even the victim.
If you are a Texas resident, do your due diligence and double check that the insurance company checks with the county clerk before paying you. By not doing so, you run the risk of them suing.
Are You Responsible to Pay the Hospital If No Hospital Lien Is Filed?
You are always responsible to take care of the bill when being treated by a medical provider. Even if you intend to pay the bill with an insurance claim, you are responsible until a settlement is reached. Failure to do so can result in the provider suing you to collect on outstanding bills. From the day you received treatment and the next four years, the Texas provider can sue you for outstanding bills. While every case is different, you always want to stay on top of any payments. If your case is still pending, we recommend making small payments on the outstanding balance. This will generally keep the bill out of collections as long as you are making some payment.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Conroe, Texas
Contact Scott Law Firm, a personal injury lawyer in Conroe, for more information regarding hospital liens related to your personal injury claim. Having an aggressive attorney on your side will help ensure the best position to get the care and compensation you deserve.
Scott Law Firm
118 N San Jacinto St
Conroe, TX 77301