Whether you sustain an injury on the job, in an auto collision or due to another accident, it can be overwhelming to take care of all the obligations that follow. You must seek out the medical care you need, of course, but you may also need to negotiate time off work and secure legal representation, too. Some of these tasks may entail extensive paperwork, which can seem overwhelming.
There is one particular document, however, that you should be wary of. When you receive medical treatment, your provider might request that you sign a medical lien agreement form. There are several things you should understand about this paperwork before you agree to sign it.
Medical costs can be deducted from compensation
A medical lien form is essentially a contract between you and the provider of your medical care stating that you will pay the whole amount of your treatment costs-and if necessary-that the costs can legally be garnished from any compensation received from a legal claim against the party responsible for your injuries. This means that if you sue and win, the hospital that treated you could potentially swoop in and claim the entire sum.
Your insurance company may also seek to recoup costs
Your medical provider is not the only party who may use a medical lien agreement to claim an award from a lawsuit. According to ValuePenguin, the average bodily injury claim is over $15,000, but if your insurance covers your medical expenses, your carrier will likely want to recoup its costs.
You can refuse to sign a lien agreement
When many patients are presented with a medical lien agreement, they assume they must sign it. This is not true. You can refuse the document or simply explain that you would like to have your legal representative review it first. Your doctor should continue providing care for your injury and respect your wishes.