What is a Medical Lien?
A medical lien, in short, is the ability of a healthcare provider (doctor, radiologist, hospital, etc.) to place request for payment on your personal injury claim to recoup any money that is owed to them for treatment as a result of that specific accident. A medical lien happens when a healthcare provider has provided services to someone that has been in an accident or injured at the hands of another person and has not been paid for their services; parents are responsible for liens of their children. When someone has received medical treatment due to the negligence of another individual or entity and is seeking monetary recovery from that person or their insurance carrier, the medical provider can place a lien on that settlement if the bill has not been paid prior to any recovery.
Regardless of the situation, unfortunately the injured party is responsible for the medical bills that are incurred even when the cause of the treatment is due to the negligence of another individual or entity. This includes their right to send the unpaid treatment to a collection agency on their behalf in order to receive payment.
Many healthcare providers will allow small monthly payments to keep your bill in good standing and prevent a report to collections, but that is not always the case. While hiring an attorney cannot prevent you having to pay any medical bills, your attorney may be able to help you set up payment arrangements with the providers with repayment over time.
The statute for medical liens for North and South Carolina can be found at the following links:
NC General Statutes – Chapter 44 Article 9 1 Article 9.
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