Defeating or Reducing Medical Liens

Georgia Personal Injury Attorney

Atlanta personal injury lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert has over 20 years of experience helping clients obtain fair settlements that provide compensation for their losses. Accident victims often do not understand that many health care providers and insurers may have a lien against any proceeds recovered in a lawsuit for the costs incurred in treating the patient’s injury. By fighting to defeat or reduce these liens, Mr. Ozcomert works hard to preserve and maximize your recovery.

Georgia Medical Liens

After a serious accident, injured victims require medical care. Emergency treatment, hospital stays, and other required services can exceed $50,000. In the absence of applicable medical payments coverage or health insurance, these charges can be covered by liable parties and their insurers through compensation paid out in a personal injury settlement. However, the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 44-14-470 allows a medical lien for treatment rendered to you by any:

  • Nursing home
  • Hospital facility
  • Physician practice
  • Licensed physician
  • Intensive care clinics
  • Person, firm, or entity
  • Operating such activity

The medical lien is filed against the personal injury action, not the victim, for expenses to provide care and treatment after the patient’s injury. The lien “attaches” when the medical provider begins treatment and may be filed 75 days after patients are discharged or 90 days after they seek care. This can be a serious financial encumbrance on the injured party’s settlement proceeds. Contact experienced Atlanta medical lien attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert. He can help you recoup your losses.

Enforcing Medical Liens

Under OCGA § 44-14-473, health care providers can enforce medical liens by filing suit against any negligent parties at fault for the accident and their insurers. When persons are injured due to the fault of others, even if it is a hit-and-run accident, they cannot keep the settlement proceeds and ignore the lien. The lien allows medical providers to recover for their bills, whether from the patient/injured party or against the liable party or their insurer (who would then turn around and sue the patient/injured party). Thus, it is imperative to negotiate and honor all validly filed and enforceable liens. In fact, OCGA § 44-14-473 even allows lien holders to recover attorney’s fees if they succeed in recouping their costs. Medical liens and other enforceable claims on the settlement money mean that injured victims may not recover full compensation. The hospital (and some insurers) that furnished the patient’s care are always paid first.

Medicare and Medicaid

Medicaid liens function as medical liens. Under § 49-4-149, the Department of Community Health may recover payments it has furnished on behalf of the patient for medical care or treatment. Both medical providers and Medicaid can “perfect” the lien after the injured party files a negligence claim or even after the patient wins a settlement from liable parties. But if the provider accepts health insurance payments from Medicare or Medicaid, it cannot charge the patient for covered services or the difference between the actual cost and awarded benefits.

Defeating or Reducing Medical Liens

Once in place, medical liens are likely to eat into the proceeds of any settlement or verdict. They also make it difficult for victims to handle their own personal injury claims without a lawyer. But experienced counsel can help to defeat or reduce such liens because they understand how to navigate these rules in cases of personal injury and wrongful death. Atlanta medical lien attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert can fight these liens in various ways involving:

  • Statute of limitations
  • Settlement and release
  • Covenant not to file suit
  • Negotiating with physicians
  • Tracking course of treatment
  • Informing liable insurer of debt
  • Failure to properly perfect the lien
  • Knowing the difference between Federal and State law

By aggressively representing the victim’s interests to insurance adjusters, health insurers, and medical providers, experienced counsel can make a world of difference in maximizing relief. Approaching doctors early before settling or trying the case reinforces a common interest in financial recovery, and fosters compromise among parties to avoid litigation and resolve disputes.

Seek Legal Counsel to Maximize Your Recovery

If you need to defeat or reduce a medical lien, including one imposed by Medicare or Medicaid, Atlanta personal injury attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert can help. For over 20 years, we have helped injured victims maximize their compensation by settling medical liens with hospitals and insurance carriers. By negotiating a favorable settlement that takes care of hospital and insurance bills, victims and families are able to keep the awarded proceeds they deserve. Call (404) 370-1000 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Testimonials
★★★★★
Steve and Anne walked me through the whole process from start to finish. When I called with questions, I promptly got responses. I would highly recommend Steve to anyone in need of an attorney.
★★★★★
Thanks for everything...Steve you're the BEST!!! Keep up the great work! I recommend Mr. Ozcomert and partners to anyone who is looking to WIN. ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. Bernard
★★★★★
I have really enjoyed the way that Steve and his one person staff Anne handled my case. They turned a bad situation into a very favorable outcome. They went the extra mile. I can highly recommend Steve to anyone that is in need of an attorney. Glenn