In Nevada, if you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have the ability to sue them and receive compensation for any medical bills. Most of the time, the person fails to admit negligence right away, requiring extensive evidence to prove the injuries rooted from that accident. In some cases, the victim is unable to pay for their medical bills and although they may receive compensation, it might not be right away. A medical lien grants a health provider the right to be paid for services directly from the proceeds of a patient’s personal injury lawsuit. Liens allow hospitals to provide emergency care to uninsured patients in order to claim a portion of any legal award that the patient could receive from the injury.
How Do Medical Liens Work?
Medical liens are generally used whenever a victim of personal injury cannot wait for a settlement to be over to claim the money. Typically, the victim would need a medical lien because either they do not have health insurance or they cannot afford to pay the deductibles under their insurance policy. Depending on the injury and lien, some liens are automatically created due to a provision of law. Most of the time, however, liens are created from a contract between the victim and the medical provider. Once the lien contract has been signed, the doctor who provided the services has the right to be paid first when the money from the accident has been given to the victim.
What if I Lose in Court?
If the victim loses his or her case in court and does not have the funds available to pay for the medical bills, the provider essentially loses money. However, there is typically a negotiation process between the provider and the victim of the injury, resulting in the victim paying half of the medical bills. The medical providers tend to be cooperative in negotiating medical bill expenses because they know that if the victim loses the case, they will be losing money. Additionally, if the medical bills are more expensive than the money from the settlement, the provider could negotiate a reduction in medical bills.
Lawyers Purchasing Liens
Lawyers began purchasing medical liens from medical providers for their clients of personal injury incidents to enable doctors to be free from prohibition against medical lien companies. Conflict can arise when the client does not want the lawyer to pay the lienholders the specific amount, or the amount is different between the lawyer and the lienholder. Liens that were purchased from the lawyer have priority, resulting in the remaining funds from the lienholders to be negotiated.
Doctors Purchasing Liens
It is common for people to believe that medical liens give you an advantage for paying the bills instead of using health insurance. Since you are financially responsible to pay the remaining portion of the medical bills that the insurance did not cover, you want the bill to be as low as possible. Doctors began forming companies that purchased medical liens at a discounted rate, causing the lien company to collect money directly from the victim’s attorney when the case has been settled. The doctor will send the client the full rate of the medical bills and will only be discounted after the bills were sent to your insurance for reimbursement. The State of Nevada was aware that the lien purchasing companies were typically owned by the doctor who was providing the treatments, causing them to maximize on their profits. Ultimately, the Nevada Law NRS 629.078 states that if a healthcare provider held a financial interest to acquire a lien that is based upon services provided to the patient who has filed a civil claim to recover damages, they will be charged with a category E felony.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that requires immediate care and cannot afford it, reach out to an experienced lawyer who can help you with a medical lien. It is important that you seek a legal team when fighting this case, as it can be extremely difficult to receive a medical lien without one and even win the case. Here at Richard Harris Law Firm, our qualified attorneys will inform you on the details of receiving a medical lien, and ensure full compensation due to the negligence of someone else.