In personal injury law, it is common to see accident victims who lack health insurance to pay medical expenses incurred. In order to provide assistance for accident victims who do not have health insurance, there are some medical professionals who will provide treatment on a medical lien basis. A medical lien can extend the amount of time allowed for an accident victim to pay medical expenses.
A medical lien is a formal written agreement between a patient and doctor. The doctor agrees that he or she will perform needed medical treatments in return for a promise from the victim to provide payment after his or her personal injury claim has reached a resolution. However, you should know that there are few doctors who will agree to provide services on a lien basis unless the patient has retained the services of an attorney.
When it comes to medical liens, having the services of an attorney is a critical factor, as the attorney will be the signatory to the lien agreement. The attorney will act in a fiduciary capacity, or position of trust, to the doctor and protect his or her right to payment.
A common misconception when it comes to lien agreements is that payment is contingent on the case’s outcome. It may be common for an attorney to provide legal services on a contingent fee basis, but medical care is not performed dependent upon a case’s outcome. A lien is merely the agreement of the doctor to await payment until end of the accident or injury case. Then the payment for medical services will be due.
Also important to know is that not every doctor will accept liens and because a doctor accepts liens does not mean he or she will do so in every case. Many times, a personal injury attorney will have developed relationships with doctors of many specialties who will provide care on a lien basis.
A medical lien is a valuable tool that enables victims who do not have access to medical care otherwise to be able to receive treatment.