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What is a Lien in a Personal Injury Case?

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Person in hospital room

If you win your personal injury case, you might notice that one or more entities have placed a lien against your settlement. This happens frequently, and it simply means that they want to be paid out of that settlement. You owe them some money for services provided, and this is what they are doing instead of charging you directly. Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers can tell you whether a lien is legitimate and help you keep as much of your settlement as possible.

Who Can Put a Lien on My Settlement?

A lien can end up on your settlement in a few different ways, but most of the legitimate ones come from sources like these:

Healthcare provider: If a doctor or hospital provided medical care for you, they may be entitled to a part of your settlement. This will reimburse them for the services rendered so that you do not need to worry about a pile of medical bills showing up on your doorstep.

Benefits provider, like an insurer: If you received care and your health insurance provider paid for some services, they can also place a lien on your settlement. This can apply to private insurance companies and government benefit distributors, like Medicare and Medicaid, as well.

Your attorney: Much of the time, an attorney works “on contingency” in a personal injury case. That means that they only collect a fee when you win. So they could have a lien on your settlement, because they have a right to a piece of it as a result of their agreement with you.

What If I Disagree With a Lien?

If you disagree with a lien, think that one is too high, or have another issue, you can contest it. Your lawyer can help you argue in front of the judge and potentially have the lien reduced or thrown away.

Will a Lien Reduce How Much Compensation I Receive?

Unfortunately, that is exactly what a lien does. If it is legitimate and leveraged by an entity that is allowed to do this, money will be taken out of your settlement. However, it is important to note that you may not have to pay the full amount of the lien. This is another area where your lawyer can come in handy.

How Can My Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

Your lawyer can help you negotiate with the people who have put liens against your settlement. One good thing to know is that many of these entities simply want to make as much of their money back as they can. They do not want to wait around forever to get it either. Your attorney can help you by negotiating a lower fee that would make both parties happy.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you plan to pursue a personal injury case of your own, it can help to have some experienced lawyers on your side. Contact Rubenstein, Berliner & Shinrod, LLC and set up a consultation today. We would love to tell you more about your options and what our legal team can do to assist you.

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