You recently got into a car accident that was so bad you had to be rushed to the hospital. Even though you couldn’t provide any insurance information or payment, the hospital treated you – as Texas hospitals are legally required to do.
Now, you’re dealing with medical bills and hospital debt and you don’t know what to do. The truth is you’re not alone.
According to Debt.org, hospital costs in the United States are an average of $3,949 per day and $15,734 per stay. If you had to undergo surgery or extensive medical treatment, your hospital bill may be even higher.
It’s really not fair that you’re now in debt because someone else injured you. But what can you do?
With The Burkett Law Firm Corpus Christi car accident attorneys on your side, you can pursue full compensation to pay for your medical bills, including a hospital lien.
The definition of a lien in Texas
A hospital lien is a legal right to a person’s assets that a hospital can use after providing care to patients who are uninsured and cannot afford to pay for their treatment out-of-pocket.
If you, the patient, were to receive legal compensation, like a settlement for your car accident, then the hospital has the right to collect on your unpaid hospital bill by taking it out of your compensation award.
How the hospital lien process works in Texas
Liens can be attached to not only car insurance settlements, but also court judgments. You’ll receive your hospital lien notice very soon after your car accident.
Legally, a hospital can only attach their lien to your claim if they provided treatment within 72 hours of your car accident. Liens can be transferred between different hospitals.
Your lien notice must have your name, address, date of the accident, the name and location of the hospital, and the defendant’s name who caused the accident on it.
The lien needs to be filed in the Texas county where you received care, and the hospital/doctor who treated you needs to notify you about the lien within five days of filing it.
Under Texas law, the hospital that treated you is only allowed to place a lien on the costs for your first 100 days of treatment. If an emergency room doctor treats you and they charge separately from the hospital, then they can provide a lien on the first seven (7) days of your care.
If you received treatment in a Texas county with a small population – less than 800,000 – then you will not get a hospital lien. To ensure they’re fair, liens cannot include excessive charges.
Will my entire car accident settlement go to a hospital lien?
If you’re worried that your entire car accident settlement will be put towards paying a hospital lien, then contact the Corpus Christi car accident attorneys at The Burkett Law Firm for experienced legal assistance.
Your car accident attorney will get on the phone with the hospital, doctor, or other medical providers to attempt to reduce the amount of your lien.
Additionally, they will see if there are any errors on the hospital lien. For instance, they could get duplicate charges taken off.
They will also ask you questions about how you received the lien and figure out if the hospital went about the process in the correct legal way. If there was any foul play, your injury attorney can use it in your favor.
When negotiating the hospital lien, your Corpus Christi car accident attorney may be able to come to a compromise with the Texas hospital.
A compromise could be reached if:
- You will need to use your car accident settlement to pay for continuing and future treatment, and your insurance company might not pay for it.
- Your accident injuries are so severe that you are permanently disabled and you need the settlement fund to take care of yourself.
- You are being compensated for pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident.
- You lost your job because of your accident injury and now you’re relying on the settlement while you’re out of work and searching for a new job.
Even though Texas hospitals have their own lawyers and typically know what they’re doing when it comes to liens, it doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes.
Your Corpus Christi personal injury lawyer will fight hard to get you the highest settlement possible and mitigate any hospital liens so you can recover completely.
Contact The Burkett Law Firm to handle your hospital lien
If you have a hospital lien in Texas that you need to take care of but you aren’t sure how to go about getting a settlement, then contact our Corpus Christi car accident attorneys. With over 60 years of establishment in Corpus Christi, The Burkett Law Firm is locally connected to the community and healthcare providers.
We’ll help you gather the evidence you need to get a fair settlement and do our best to reduce the size of your hospital lien. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.