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What Is A Hospital Lien?


If you have been hurt in a car accident in Texas that was the result of another person’s negligence and you received treatment at a hospital, that hospital has the right to file a lien for payment of their bill against your claim. Hospital Liens are permitted by Chapter 55 of the Texas Property Code.

A Hospital Lien attaches to:

 

  • a cause of action for damages arising from an injury for which the injured individual is admitted to the hospital or receives emergency medical services;
  • a judgment of a court or the decision of a public agency in a proceeding brought by the injured individual or by another person entitled to bring the suit in case of the death of the individual to recover damages arising from an injury for which the injured individual is admitted to the hospital or receives emergency medical services; and
  • the proceeds of a settlement of a cause of action or a claim by the injured individual or another person entitled to make the claim, arising from an injury for which the injured individual is admitted to the hospital or receives emergency medical services.
     

Texas State law also allows for hospitals to file a lien on settlement proceeds as long as the injured party was admitted to the hospital within 72 hours after the accident. For this lien to be valid, the hospital must file the lien with the County Clerk any time before the payment of the settlement is made. The lien also extends to physicians who provided emergency services. The hospital lien does not extend to UM/UIM benefits. Also, if the hospital has an opportunity to bill your health insurance, then it must do so and it cannot file a lien for the balance of the bill.

How a Hospital Lien Affects Your Case

At the time of settlement, the other party’s insurance company must honor the lien and pay back the hospital. If you are in the process of getting your claim started or hiring an Fort Worth personal injury lawyer to handle your case, this attorney will check to see if you have a lien at the beginning of your case.  But be careful – if you are representing yourself, not knowing that a lien is filed is no excuse for not paying them out of your settlement. Hospitals may come after you for payment months or even years after your case has been settled, so it’s important to acknowledge your lien when you agree to a settlement.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In:
Seeking Medical Attention After the Accident
No Health Insurance: How to Obtain the Necessary Medical Treatment After an Accident
Medical Treatment in Your Personal Injury Case
What are Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?
Will a gap in medical treatment hurt my claim?

 


Mark A. Anderson
Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas