Many people who are injury victims in motor vehicle accidents in Spokane and beyond are fortunate enough to have health insurance. That coverage gives them access to quality and necessary medical care that might not otherwise be available for them. What comes to issue is that they’re probably going to have certain legal obligations to their health insurance company, even when they’ve been injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else. That’s the basis behind the law of subrogation.
If you’re injured in an accident, and your health insurer pays all or just some of your medical expenses, your contract of insurance states that it reserves the right to recover any amounts that it has paid on your behalf. If you recover any compensation for your injuries from the person who caused them, your health insurer expects to be reimbursed accordingly. Most health insurance companies will expect full reimbursement. They seek that reimbursement by placing a lien against and proceeds that you might receive pursuant to settlement of a claim or a verdict that awards you compensation for your injuries. The State of Washington allows this because it doesn’t consider it fair for you to file a claim or lawsuit for damages that you didn’t pay out of your own pocket. What that means is that you could be required to satisfy your health insurer’s lien interest before you can receive your net proceeds from your settlement or verdict.
Consideration of the Contingency Fee and Liens
Quality personal injury attorneys will add up the total amount of any liens in a case before settlement negotiations even begin. To be considered with those liens would be any costs in the future along with the client’s non-economic damages like pain and suffering or permanent disfigurement. When that number is determined within a reasonable amount of certainty, the attorney might be able to use it to work toward a reduced payment in full and final settlement of the health insurance company’s lien interest. Any such settlement with the health insurer can operate to increase the client’s net proceeds from their settlement or verdict.
According to Washington Bankruptcy Attorney Wenokur Riordan,the issue surrounding a health insurance lien might operate to interfere with an injury victim accessing the courts for compensation. A quality personal injury attorney will do everything legally possible place that victim back to the position that he or she was in before the accident occurred while still obtaining compensation for non-economic damages. In many cases that might not be possible due to insufficient auto insurance limits. In those cases, an insurer might not have a right of repayment.
Contact a Spokane Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by somebody else, and the law of medical expenses, insurance and litigation seem to be overwhelming, you can contact our Spokane Personal Injury Lawyers to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’ll carefully listen to you, and then we’ll answer your questions. If we enter into a retainer agreement to represent you in your personal injury claim or lawsuit, no legal fees will even be due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Our goal is to maximize any net proceeds that you might derive from your claim or lawsuit.