Unless you have been through the process of making a claim for injuries, you most likely (and reasonably) believe that winning your negligence trial is the end of the road, and that your check is on the way. Unfortunately, in the great majority of cases, your successful verdict, (or reasonable settlement), is merely the beginning of the next step of the process—negotiating the outstanding liens.
In the context of personal injury claims, a “lien” is a legal claim upon the recovery the injured party receives, whether by settlement or verdict and judgment after trial. As a practical matter, a lien is a financial obligation that must be satisfied before the injured party can recover any proceeds from his or her settlement or judgment. There are various types of liens that may attach to your personal injury claim, but the first that comes to the attention of the injured party is often the Health Care Provider Lien.
The Illinois Health Care Services Lien Act creates a lien for the amount of bills for any medical services provided to an injured party making a legal claim for damages. In order to enforce this lien, the medical provider must follow specific procedures set out in detail in the statute. Once the procedures are followed, the injured party must resolve the lien before he or she can receive payment. Even though a lien can be claimed by the health care provider for the full amount of the medical bills generated, if there are multiple liens claimed by different providers, the sum of all liens combined cannot exceed 40% of the total settlement or award. If there is only one lien-holder, then the lien for that provider cannot exceed more than one-third of settlement or award. More importantly, your experienced attorney may be able to negotiate more significant reductions of these liens, depending upon the circumstances surrounding the claim and the details of the settlement negotiations. Obviously, the more successful your lawyer is in reducing the liens, the greater your net recovery will be. At McNamara Phelan McSteen, we make every effort to maximize your recovery and to minimize the amount paid to lienholders, so that you receive a fair result from your personal injury claim.
Thomas Polacek practices in the area of personal injury for McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC. He has tried both civil and criminal cases before juries in Illinois and Missouri, as well as in Federal District Court. He has been a successful trial attorney for over 25 years, and he prides himself on keeping his clients well-informed throughout the litigation process. He represents clients in Will,Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kendall and Kankakee Counties.
MPM encourages anyone who has been injured in a car accident, by falling, or in any way through another’s negligence to contact Tom for a free consultation as soon as possible so that he may review your case and provide you with the proper direction to proceed with your claims.