Private doctor or hospital liens can become a huge problem in your case, without a reduction of these liens you could end up netting significantly less than what the gross settlement or judgment was. They are also notoriously difficult to negotiate because the hospital will be represented by an attorney who is likely being paid a percentage of the lien that he is able to recover. Nonetheless, I have broken down five (5) concrete steps with supporting statutes and case law that have worked for me in the past when negotiating these types of liens:
Liens are a legal mechanism that entitle the lien holder to repayment of services rendered. In the context of personal injury cases, liens are attached to any third-party recovery (i.e., settlements and verdicts) obtained by the plaintiff. They can come from many sources, for example: prior attorney lien, Medi-Cal lien, private hospital lien, workers’ compensation lien, doctor lien, etc. Invariably, liens will create uncertainty and delay in your case because they can significantly eat into the net recovery of your client and negotiating them down takes time. For purposes of this discussion I will focus on Medi-Cal liens and tactics on how to reduce them:
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution, i.e., resolving your lawsuit outside of the court system without having to go to trial. For comparison, arbitration is also a form of alternative dispute resolution. In both situations, the merits of the lawsuit are heard by a neutral mediator or arbitrator outside of a court setting. However, arbitration results in a binding, court-enforceable decision by the arbitrator where as settlement only occurs in mediation by agreement of all parties. As well, arbitrators are often pre-selected where as mediators are mutually agreed upon by all parties. There are several reasons why you should mediate your lawsuit, here are our top five (5):
One of the things clients often ask is, “what is my case worth?” For the client, this is an obvious and simple question, however, from the perspective of the attorney, the answer to this question requires a nuanced calculus. The basic value of a case is a function of the damages the plaintiff is entitled to and the strength of liability against the defendant(s). However, there are many more considerations to balance.
If you’re thinking about having to file a lawsuit, chances are things are pretty dire. If you or a family member are severely injured, dealing with medical bills on top of regular expenses can become overwhelming, if not impossible. One remedy is to make the responsible party pay for their actions by filing a lawsuit. Both individuals and corporations may be sued. The following is a general road map of what occurs when you file a lawsuit: