Medical Billing Statement and a StethoscopeFinding out that your personal injury claim or lawsuit was successful can feel like winning the lottery. After a serious injury and a legal battle with the person who caused it, you are finally awarded the money you are owed. Personal injury claims can take many months—and in some cases, years—from the day of your accident to the day you get the check. During that time, you may have seen many doctors and had extensive medical treatment. Those bills were either paid by your own insurance, or the provider held off on billing you. Now that your personal injury claim is settled, those medical providers are going to want to be paid, and they have every right to be.

At Pete Olson Injury Law, our team will help you understand your obligations to pay back medical providers from Day One. We help our clients get the medical care they need, manage their bills, deal with creditors, and work with their health insurance companies before and after their personal injury claim is resolved.

What Are Medical Liens and Subrogation?

A medical lien in a personal injury case is a legal claim that grants health care providers the right to be reimbursed for the medical expenses they have incurred while treating an injured individual. This lien allows health care providers to assert a priority claim on the settlement or judgment proceeds received by the injured person, ensuring that they are compensated for the services rendered.

Subrogation is a legal principle that allows an insurance company, typically the health insurance provider, to seek reimbursement from the settlement or judgment obtained by the injured party. By invoking subrogation, the insurance company can recover the amount it paid for medical treatment or other expenses related to the injury, thus minimizing its financial losses and maintaining its rights to be compensated for the coverage provided.

Serious Accidents Lead to Costly Medical Bills

The whole point of a personal injury claim—whether you were hurt in a vehicle crash, slip and fall, dog attack, or by an incident of medical malpractice—is to get the money you need to pay for the harm that has been done to you.

Typical injuries sustained in accidents involving negligence include the following:

  • Fractures. Treating broken bones may involve immobilization with a cast, splint, or brace, and in some cases, surgical intervention with the placement of pins, plates, or screws to facilitate proper healing.
  • Whiplash and other neck injuries. Neck injuries are notoriously difficult to treat. Possible options include pain management through medications, the use of neck braces or collars for support, physical therapy to improve range of motion and reduce pain, and surgical intervention.
  • Back and spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord damage can be devastating and life-altering. Treatment depends on the severity and location of the injury. It may involve pain management, physical therapy, the use of back braces or immobilization devices, and in severe cases, surgical intervention to stabilize the spine or relieve pressure on the spinal cord. The cost of caring for an accident victim who is paralyzed is astronomical.
  • Head injuries, including concussions. In severe cases of traumatic brain injury, hospitalization and specialized care may be necessary. If permanent brain damage has occurred, a lifetime of expensive care could be required.
  • Internal injuries. Treatment depends on the specific injury but may involve surgical intervention to repair or remove damaged organs, blood transfusions, or other medical interventions to stabilize the patient.
  • Burns and electrical injuries. Burn injuries can result in lifelong scarring and disfigurement. Treatment may involve cleaning the wound, applying topical ointments or dressings, pain management, and in severe cases, specialized burn care, including debridement, skin grafts, or other surgical interventions.

The treatment required to recover from these types of injuries cannot wait for an injury claim to be settled by an insurance company or judge. Fortunately, there are ways to get the care you need before you are compensated by the at-fault party, but you should be aware that medical providers and insurance companies will need to be paid back after the claim is resolved.

When you work with Pete Olson to resolve your personal injury claim, you will never be in the dark about who is owed what and when. We will be your partner in holding the responsible party accountable and in helping you get the medical care you need—and paying for it.