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Definition of Medical Lien

A medical lien allows a doctor or health care provider to recover their interest for services through a lien against a personal injury settlement. The amount that can be recovered by way of a medical lien will be limited to the cost of the treatment or the service provided. Some hospitals or doctors are unwilling to provide treatment if their own recovery is from a medical lien because there is no guarantee of payment, they may have to wait for years to recover the medical lien payments, and they may have to settle for a reduced payment.

Patients without insurance may also agree to sign a medical lien, which is an agreement to pay their medical bills after their personal injury case is settled. Unfortunately, if the medical costs are greater than the injury settlement they could end up paying for the medical lien out of their own pocket and a lien agreement provides no oversight for how a doctor will treat them; the patient is at the mercy of the medical facility. Talk to an injury lawyer before signing a medical lien for treatment after a personal injury.

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