How is your attorney going to maximize your recovery when a settlement offer or judgment is made on your injury case? The answer lies in your attorney’s experience level in negotiating down your medical bills and with your own health insurance provider, which usually has an interest in getting paid back at the time of settlement. Most clients do not realize that they have to pay back their own health insurance company for medical care previously paid from proceeds received in a settlement from the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, there are valuable legal arguments an experienced attorney can make to minimize or completely eliminate a client’s medical bills. For example, a client’s private health insurance carrier will place a lien of the client’s eventual recovery for medical treatment it covered.This is allowed because the client’s settlement will include damages for their reasonable and necessary medical bills, plus their pain and suffering. California law allows health insurance companies this “subrogation right.”

A good lawyer will know whether this lien or cost to the client can be reduced under both state and federal law. Each accident case is unique, and different state and federal rules apply when reducing health insurance lien interests. If it can be eliminated or reduced, the attorney can then dramatically improve his or her client’s case by maximizing the client’s recovery in a given settlement. This knowledge can be extremely effective in cases where there are policy limits involved and the medical bills need to be minimized for the client. You can find out more information on health liens and medical bills on my website, www.blanelaw.com. And, don’t forget to check out my site’s video center for the latest videos dealing with this important, but complex, subject.

Question to ask a lawyer:

What is his or her plan regarding your medical bills at the time of settlement? If some or all of your medical bills are being covered by a health plan through automobile medical pay coverage or a private health insurance plan, be sure you understand how your lawyer will navigate and reduce this lien interest at the time of settlement offer.

Mark Blane
Founder of The Law Offices of Mark Blane, APC
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