It’s bad enough to be involved in a car accident in Texas. Your car is ruined, you’ve been hurt, and your life has been turned upside down. To make a bad situation even worse, a few weeks later, a scary “hospital lien notice” shows up in your mail. There are few things in the world that will ruin your day faster than a legal notice seeking tens of thousands of dollars of your hard earned money!
The good news is this: Our law firm has been helping people deal with Texas hospital liens after a car accident or other personal injury incident for over 20 years. We know all the tricks in dealing with these liens and the hospitals that are filing them. If you are worried about a hospital lien that has been filed against you and your claim, call us right now for a free consultation at 1-800-898-4877 or to discuss your situation for free.
What is a Texas Hospital Lien?
A hospital lien is the right under Texas law that hospital and emergency services providers have to receive payment from any money recovered by a Defendant or their insurance company when they cause injury to the victim. These liens are typically filed in the county of the hospital, but the lien will still apply to your recovery even if it is not filed. The lien only applies if you are admitted to a hospital or if emergency medical services are provided within 72 hours of the incident. The same lien applies to any hospitals to which you are are transferred for ongoing treatment of the same injury. The language of the lien is as follows:
(a) A hospital has a lien on a cause of action or claim of an individual who receives hospital services for injuries caused by an accident that is attributed to the negligence of another person. For the lien to attach, the individual must be admitted to a hospital not later than 72 hours after the accident.
(b) The lien extends to both the admitting hospital and a hospital to which the individual is transferred for treatment of the same injury.
(c) An emergency medical services provider has a lien on a cause of action or claim of an individual who receives emergency medical services in a county with a population of 800,000 or less for injuries caused by an accident that is attributed to the negligence of another person. For the lien to attach, the individual must receive the emergency medical services not later than 72 hours after the accident.
Secret #1 – Hospitals May Refuse to Bill Your Health Insurance
Unfortunately, it is quite common for hospitals to refuse to submit medical bills to a patient’s insurance when they know the patient was involved in a car accident. This is because hospitals have an opportunity to claim a much higher amount via their lien than they would ever be able to recover from a health insurance company. When a hospital files their lien with the county, it is almost impossible to get the Defendant’s insurance company to pay your claim directly – they are going to want to pay the hospital lien first. As such, the REAL victim of the car accident is hurt twice – once in the initial car wreck, and then again when they try to recover their damages.
Sadly, hospitals all over Texas are using this tactic to bully car accident victims into paying ridiculously high medical charges and leaving them with little or no money to cover their lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages to which they are entitled under Texas law. The good news is that there ARE ways to combat this greed and protect your rights. Our attorneys have been fighting these difficult hospital liens for years, and we’re going to share some important tricks and tips with you.
Secret #2 – There ARE Limitations On What They Can Charge
While the Texas Hospital lien laws are tilted very heavily in favor of the hospitals and against the patients, there are some legal limitations on what hospitals can charge. Specifically, hospitals cannot charge more than a “reasonable and regular rate” for their services. In other words, hospitals cannot charge an excessive rate for medical services provided just because they know someone was injured in a car accident. If you can prove that the medical rates charged on your bill are in excess of those considered reasonable and regular by the hospital, you can FIGHT the hospital lien and have it reduced. Knowing what “reasonable and regular” rates are for medical charges can sometimes be difficult for an individual consumer, but hiring a law firm with years of experience in examining and fighting unreasonable hospital charges is a good first step.
Secret #3 – Hospital Liens CAN Be Negotiated Down
All hospitals know that any money they recover from a hospital lien will come from the proceeds due a car accident or other victim of a personal injury incident. As a practical matter, the easiest and quickest way for a hospital to get paid on their lien is through the cooperation of the victim – their patient. Depending on the amount of liability insurance coverage available and the amount of the hospital lien, most hospitals will often be willing to negotiate down on the amount they recover from the liability insurance proceeds – especially if the victim is represented by an attorney with deep knowledge of how Texas hospital liens work. Our firm, for example, has had success obtaining SUBSTANTIAL reductions on hospital liens in situations where there were only limited insurance proceeds available. Even in situations where the medical bills far exceed the amount of liability insurance available, our firm is often able to negotiate reductions large enough to insure that the victim of the car crash receive thousands of dollars of “net” recovery individually, even after the hospital lien, attorneys fees, and other medical bills are paid. The key to be able to effectively negotiate the maximum possible reduction on these hospital liens is to have an attorney on your side who knows the law, and is willing to fight for you.
The attorneys of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law have been representing car accident and personal injury victims all over the State of Texas for over 20 years. If you were injured as the result of someone else’s negligence and are trying to deal with a Texas hospital lien, call our office right now to schedule a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. For your free case evaluation, call us today at (800) 898-4877 or contact us by clicking HERE.