OVER 400 Legal Answers to Frequently Asked Questions to a Variety of California Injury Issues and Legal Problems Associated with California Accidents

What is my case worth? What should I do after a bicycle accident? My car's brakes didn't function properly, do I have a case? Should I sign the insurance company's proposal? Some of your questions may have been answered already on Mark Blane's website. However, San Diego county accidents happen all the time, and all sorts of different questions about different injury scenarios can be raised by a person who is injured. As a result, this personal injury website is dedicated to answering your frequently asked questions about a variety of injuries, your legal rights, and what procedures you should follow. Just browse our frequently asked questions (FAQ) section (below) and look them up. If you have other or more specific questions, just send an email (Contact Us) and you will receive a reply without delay!

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  • SAN DIEGO CA COUNTY MEDICAL SERVICES (CMS) HEALTH LIENS: If all or part of my medical care for my California bodily injury case was covered by San Diego CMS , do I have pay them back at time of settlement of my bodily injury case for what they paid for my medical care?

    Depends!  

    It depends on whether you settled your San Diego County personal injury case prior to trial (private settlement), or your case was settled at trial by jury (or in California small claims court) in what is called a "judgment."  So the answer to this FAQ turns on whether it was it a "private settlement" or a court "judgment."

    If you settled your case privately, then no, CMS cannot enforce their medical lien for reimbursement from your California personal injury settlement. However, interestingly, if your claim for bodily injuries was settled in court by a court entered judgment, then yes, you have to negotiate an amount back directly with San Diego County Medical Services, collectively known as CMS.  You should call me with any questions on this at (619) 813-7955.

    Here is the California law on this FAQ:

     

    Mares v. Baughman, 92 Cal.App.4th 672 (2001)  

    By its unambiguous terms, Govt. Code § 23004.1 provides a county (CMS) with a lien only on judgments and not settlements. Thus, a CMS type lien imposed upon a settlement may be expunged on a motion. The court noted that the statute provided independent subrogation rights to public entities to assert their claims.

     

     

    Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Auto Accident Attorney, and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Personal Injury Law Firm devoted to representing families of injured persons of automobile accidents. If you or someone you love, has been injured or killed in San Diego County, or Southern California, due to the negligence of another, please order your FREE copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information, insights, and secrets that will help you protect your legal rights.  It normally sells for $16.95; however, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident.

     

     

  • CALIFORNIA HEALTH LIEN SUBROGATION RIGHTS: I just found out that my employer sponsored health plan is protected by a federal law known as ERISA , can my health plan subrogate or get paid back from my personal injury funds when I settle my California personal injury case?

    Yes, it can!  ERISA protected health plans are tricky and you need an experienced California injury lawyer to help you - you can call me directly at (619) 813-7955.

    Here is some of the California law (federal law which applies to California) on this FAQ:
     

    Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Inc. 126 S. Ct. 1869, 547 U.S. 356 (2006) ERISA plan may enforce a subrogation or reimbursement provision through an action for constructive trust or equitable lien against a plan participant holding settlement funds. The Ct distinguished its 2002 ruling in Knudson, supra, on the basis that the ERISA plan there sued persons not holding the funds (which had been deposited in a Special Needs Trust). Also distinguished Knudson on the basis that instead of seeking to impose personal liability as in Knudson, the Sereboff action “sought its recovery through a constructive trust or equitable lien on a specifically Identified fund.” Id at 363. The Ct declined to decide the application of the "make whole" doctrine but suggested in dicta that said defense would not apply to an action for equitable lien. Ct did not address the common fund doctrine which had been applied by both lower courts because it was included in the reimbursement provision in the plan.

    This case is inconsistent with all 9th Circuit precedent since 1994 holding that ERISA plans cannot enforce their contractual reimbursement provisions under ERISA because 29 USC 1132(a)(3) only allows plans to sue for "equitable relief to enforce the terms of the plan." Ct relies heavily on its 1914 decision in Barnes for the proposition that one promising to convey property to be recovered in the future becomes a constructive trustee “as soon as he recovers a title to the thing...” suggesting title argument.
     

    Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Auto Accident Attorney, and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Personal Injury Law Firm devoted to representing families of injured persons of automobile accidents. If you or someone you love, has been injured or killed in San Diego County, or Southern California, due to the negligence of another, please order your FREE copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information, insights, and secrets that will help you protect your legal rights.  It normally sells for $16.95; however, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident.