Depends on "when" the hospital lien properly served notice of its lien on the injured party.

Under the Hospital Lien Act (HLA) at Civil Code §3045.1, et seq., a hospital lien is subject to any prior liens. The language in the statute that the lien “shall not be effective” until proper service is made equates to the hospital lien not being created until the lien is properly served. In contrast, an attorney fee lien is created when the retainer agreement is signed. Thus, where a patient is treated by the hospital before the patient retains counsel, but the hospital lien is served after the attorney is retained, the attorneys’ fee lien is a “prior lien” to the hospital lien. County of San Bernardino v. Calderon (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 1103

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.

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