In the state of Texas, hospitals must care for you if you suffer injuries in a severe car accident, especially in an emergency. Hospitals receive protection in these instances and can file a hospital lien. Of course, this can complicate matters while you pursue a favorable settlement from the insurance company.
Many insurance companies hold off paying a settlement until after you have resolved the hospital lien. Under Chapter 55 of the Texas Property Code, the hospital can notify the public that they are owed money, and it allows the hospital to be paid out of a settlement before anyone else.
Steps Hospitals Must Take to File a Medical Lien
- Notifying the injured party: The hospital must send a notice to the injured party with information that includes the name and address, date of the accident and care, the hospital claiming the lien, and the liable party.
- Filing the lien: The hospital would then file the lien with the county to prevent the injured party from recovering compensation until after the lien is satisfied.
- Informing the injured party: Within five days of receiving notice that the lien has been filed, the hospital must inform the injured party or their legal representatives.
Options to Deal with a Hospital Lien
Keep in mind, if a hospital files a lien after providing you with care, you have options. You can request that they use your healthcare insurance to cover the costs of the care. You can negotiate with the hospital to potentially reduce the amount you owe before you can receive your settlement.
In some situations, the lien may not be valid because the charges are not reasonable. In these cases, you may sue the hospital to potentially invalidate their lien.
Before you do anything, be sure to speak with our Conroe car accident attorneys about your rights. Legal counsel can help protect your rights throughout the process, allowing you to focus on your recovery. At Scott Law Firm, we can help you recognize your options following a hospital lien and pursue the justice you deserve.