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Are you medical providers in CA entitled to more than 1/3 of the settlement distribution for liens related to auto accidents?

Los Angeles, CA |

For instance, medical provider inserts lien on insurance claim and the settlement amount is 3000. Is the provider entitled to more than 1000? Is there a CA rule preventing the medical providers from receiving over a certain amount for insurance claims related to auto accidents. It just doesn't seem fair that the provider could receive their entire bill just because they have a lien on the claim.

Also, is medical provider entitled to 1/3 in addition to the medpay or 1/3 of the total amount, including medpay?

Attorney Answers 4


The amount recoverable depends on the legal authority to support it and the facts of your case. I suggest you consult with an experienced attorney in your area. Most consumer attorneys offer free initial consultations.

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They are technically entitled to value f the service they provide. If the total value is 1,000, they are entitled to 1,000. If its 500, they are entitled to 500. HOWEVER, the bills can usually be negotiated down. Many attorneys will include that negotiation as part of their representation.

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As a general rule, medical providers will agree to take no more than one half of the net settlement, after attorney's fees. In a typical case, no matter how large the lien, the provider will agree to the profile I just stated. If you have a lawyer and the lawyer is charging one third, the provider will generally agree that they get one third and the injured party get's one third. However, this is just what usually happens through negotiation. Every case is different and it depends on a number of factors. If you don't have an attorney yet, many attorneys in your area will offer a free consultation. Good Luck

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Mr. Gillin, thank you for your response. Is the medpay included in the 1/3 for the doctor or does the doctor get 1/3 in addition to the medpay? Thanks again.


It depends on the nature of the lien. First, you need to know that a lien is a secured interest in a specific piece of property (ie settlement proceeds), but the charges are not limited to the secured interest amount. The bill is the bill amount regardless if it is a lien secured by the lienhilder's interest in the property or just an unsecured debt. The amount of the secured part of the bill can vary, but that does not mean the remaining unsecured portion is not owed as an unsecured debt. If its a statutory lien per Civil Code 3045.4 then the secured amount of the lien is 50% of the settlent funds after "prior" liens. Prior liens is not defined by the Code. If the lien is voluntary, then the statute's limitations on the lien is not limited to 50% after prior liens. So your best course of action is to get an agreement with a voluntary lien holder to accept a reduced amount as payment if full in order to avoid having to pay the balance as an unsecured debt later. You may want to talk to a lawyer to get more information before you decide what is the best way to resolve the debt for the medical treatment.

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