If you have been injured as a result of a car accident, you will want to seek immediate medical treatment and care. Not only is it essential for the healing process, but it also provides documentation of your injuries and treatments which serve as evidence for your Durham personal injury claim. Yet if you can’t afford medical treatment due to limited healthcare insurance or a lack thereof, you may feel as though you have no options.
If you can’t afford to pay for medical care out of pocket, you may be able to get treated on something called a “medical lien”. A medical lien is basically an agreement between you, the victim of a car accident, and a medical provider, such as hospitals, chiropractors, and EMS services. This agreement must be a formal, written agreement, in which the medical provider agrees to treat your accident-related injuries without being paid upfront. Under the terms of the agreement, the provider will receive payment directly from your personal injury settlement.
It is important to note that in North Carolina, it is mandated that your medical provider’s lien cannot exceed half (50%) of your recovered damages after attorney’s fees are deducted. This ensures that you, as the victim, receive at least some amount of settlement toward your damages, such as lost wages, pain, and suffering, etc.
Additionally, in order for payment of liens to come out of your settlement, they must be “perfected”. This simply means that the healthcare provider furnishes any medical statements, records, or reports related to the personal injury claim to the attorney free of charge for use in the case and written notice to the attorney of the lien claimed.
Keep in mind that any medical lien payments are only for the costs of those medical procedures and/or treatments you actually received as a direct result of any injuries you sustained from your car accident. These liens do not go towards the costs of any unrelated injuries. Your personal injury attorney will help to ensure that this is taken into consideration when negotiating your medical lien.
It is crucial to consult with your Durham Personal Injury Lawyer before establishing a medical lien agreement with your healthcare provider. As outlined above, there are some aspects of the agreement that your attorney can best negotiate to achieve an outcome favorable for both you and your medical provider. Contact your Durham Personal Injury Lawyer at Wallace Pierce Law today in order to discuss options for being treated on a lien basis.