Hospital Liens & Texas Law: Fighting Unreasonable Medical Bills
Imagine This Scenario:
You just left work after a hard day, anxious to return home to your loved ones. You use the same familiar route as always, carefully maneuvering through traffic to get home for a peaceful dinner. Suddenly and without any warning, a careless driver collides with your vehicle, causing substantial damage and injuring you enough to need immediate medical attention.
Lives can be turned upside-down in cases such as these, but you can at least take comfort in the fact that you’re alive and getting the medical attention you require. However, many victims of auto accidents are unaware of just how long the recovery process can be. You may be healing just fine from your bodily injuries, but a whole new battle is about to begin that can have dire consequences on your financial status.
The Costly After Effects
A personal injury lawsuit is the next logical step for many people in similar situations. The driver who caused the accident and their insurance company should pay for your bills. However, you may be surprised to learn that in these cases, the hospital where you received treatment may be able to file what’s called a “medical lien” against your settlement proceeds.
What Is A Hospital Lien?
This lien is a demand for repayment and a claim against your personal injury settlement. It attaches to any financial recovery you receive from the responsible third party or their insurer, and it must be paid before you see any of the proceeds from the settlement. Several conditions must apply for hospital liens to be filed against you, including being admitted to the hospital no later than 72 hours after the accident.
Victimizing the Victims
In principle, a hospital lien is not a terrible thing. They allow medical facilities to provide immediate care after an accident and ensure they are paid for it. The problem arises when hospitals abuse liens by seeking drastically higher payments from your settlement than what they would otherwise receive from medical insurance. You may be wondering why the hospital would file a lien instead of billing your health insurance. The answer is simple: bigger payout. The hospital is hoping you cash in big from your settlement. This way, they can charge the “full” amount rather than a contractually adjusted amount they would collect from your health insurance. Hospitals often charge 5-10 times as much as the services are actually worth.
By law, a hospital lien may not charge for services that exceed a reasonable and regular rate. Unfortunately, the statue that authorizes the lien, Texas Property Code – Chapter 55, does not provide any mechanism for challenging the reasonableness of the hospital’s charges. The likely outcome of these situations is that you are victimized all over again. You may not even be left with any compensation at all after the hospital receives its payment.
Call the Texas Hospital Lien Lawyers At Moore Law Firm Today
Hiring a dedicated lawyer is your best bet for navigating and fighting your unreasonable hospital lien. The Texas Hospital Lien Lawyers at The Moore Law Firm are prepared to investigate your unjust bill and offer free case evaluations to those who seek to discuss their legal options. Call 956-631-LIEN today to speak to our experienced and caring staff. We will stand by you every step of the way.