What is a Medical Lien in a Personal Injury Case?


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In a simple explanation, a medical lien is essentially an agreement between a person who has been injured and has as a result of their injury and accident required medical care and treatment and the health care providers. This agreement is a method for an injured person to defer payment until they have settled with either an insurance company or have received compensation from a court judgment. When all of the procedures are finalized, which is known as perfection, the medical lien will then become legally effective, thereby requiring the injured party to pay for their outstanding debt. Alternatively, the lien may provide that the injured parties’ medical bill should be paid off the top before the injured receives any funds.

A medical lien basically reflects an agreement between the injured party and others, such as the health care providers, to defer payment until settlement with an insurance company or a court judgment. Upon completion of specified procedures (called “perfection”), this lien can become legally effective to require that the injured party keep the promise and pay the outstanding debt out of the proceeds of the settlement or lawsuit, often before the injured party receives such funds.

What are the Requirements for a Medical Lien?

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The requirements for a medical lien are extremely specific and per the language of the statute must be precisely followed in order for a medical lien to be legally enforceable. Under the language of the statute a medical practitioner, nurse, hospital, or ambulance service provider is required to serve a written notice of their claim of lien on the following:

  • Patient
  • The tortfeasor – meaning the person was at fault; or
  • The insurer

Alternatively, a medical lien can be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court in the county in which his or her professional, nursing, hospital, or ambulance service has been, or is being, rendered. The contents of a notice of a medical lien is required to include:

  1. The name and address of the tortfeasor and, if a lien is claimed against an insurer, then the name and address of that insurer;
  2. The name of the patient, his or her usual address, and his or her whereabouts when the notice is served, if elsewhere than at his or her usual address;
  3. The name and address of the person claiming the lien, and whether he or she claims as a practitioner, nurse, hospital, or ambulance service provider;
  4. The time when, place where, and circumstances under which the alleged fault or neglect of the tortfeasor occurred and the nature of the injury; and
  5. If the service of the practitioner, nurse, hospital, or ambulance service provider has been completed, the amount for which his or her lien is claimed.

Many times we find that the strict requirements for a legally enforceable medical lien have not been perfectly followed. However, many medical liens should be followed nevertheless so that a person who has been injured can focus on their recovery and not tie themselves up in needless arguments.

Contact Fayetteville, Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyer Ken Kieklak

Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law knows that a personal injury case is much more than what goes on in the courtroom, and we have experience reviewing and negotiating medical liens. If you have suffered a serious injury due to a car accident or a slip and fall accident, or if you have lost a loved one due to the recklessness or carelessness of another and are now facing a medical lien, Ken Kieklak works with you. For more than 20 years, Arkansas personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak has stood up for hard-working people who have been injured through no fault of their own. To schedule your free and confidential personal injury consultation call (479) 251-7767 or contact us online.

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