It is likely the state has a lien on any third party recovery that comes from the settlement to you. Do not negotiate your claim until you find that out. Contact the state secretary for starters.
Don't do anything until you retain an attorney. If you have received medicare or medicaid related federal or state benefits there is a lien on your settlement by statute and it is actually fraud not to pay them back. I am not trying to scare you. But, rather, this is intended to help you on several levels. Where you indicate that papers didn't "really" say you have to pay anything, it is crucial to your own interest that you have someone represent you and deal with all of this with your best interest in mind.
Do not hesitate to retain an attorney. The insurance industry's own statistics confirm that once an attorney is brought in to any claim, the value of the case at least doubles.
My office handles personal injury cases in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. However the matters discussed above arise from federal law and are therefore the same in all states.
Never settle a claim without making sure a lien is negotiated down. Best to get a local lawyer to negotiate it for you, as well as handle your case for you so you get maximum compensation.
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DSHS does press an air-tight lien here in the great State of Washington. RCW 74.09.180, 43.20B.040, and 43.20B.050. See links below. You should retain an attorney to make sure all the liens will be properly addressed.
[In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship.]
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