Who Pays My Medical Bills In a Personal Injury Settlement?
Injury victims rightly assume that is the responsibility of the negligent and or at-fault party to fully compensate them for their medical bills and costs, both past and future. But as between the provider, and the injured person, the injured individual is always going to be responsible for their medical costs. Now, that individual may have insurance, like health insurance, to pay for those bills. When that occurs, the law creates a separate right in the payor to recover amounts they have paid, from the financial recovery from the at-fault party, if any. Maryland recognizes the right of health insurance providers, or most third party payors generally, to assert a claim on the proceeds of a personal injury lawsuit. The claim asserted on the injured person's compensation is typically referred to as a 'lien" on that recovery. Knowledge of these provisions is a key in getting the amounts of any lien to the lowest acceptable amounts.
The lower the lien, the higher the recovery for the injury victim.
Employer provided health insurance plans typically take the position that they are entitled to a 100%, dollar for dollar reimbursement, and that any state law that says otherwise is “preempted” or trumped by federal law that gives them that right. While that may be true for certain types of employer health plans, that’s not always the end of the story. Diligent, and creative, lawyers have, over the years, come up with novel, and sometimes successful strategies for the reduction of these claims. If you have questions regarding a claim asserted on your personal injury recovery, I’d be happy to talk to you about it today.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 6/3/20.