How Does a Medical Lien Affect a Personal Injury Settlement in Las Vegas?

All Las Vegas injury attorneys are familiar with the medical bills their clients have to pay, ultimately — and hopefully — through a successful settlement or judgment. When someone gets injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault, they inevitably incur medical expenses.

Those bills can get paid in several ways, including:

Each of these methods of covering the medical expenses of a fault-free accident victim deserves at least a short explanation. Medical liens, however, are an essential tool for an injury attorney in Las Vegas and merit clarification.

Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance is insurance coverage offered by a private entity instead of a government entity. Suppose you are covered by health insurance at the time of an accident or injury. In that case, that insurance will pay your medical bills per your policy or policies.
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The responsible party’s insurance in your injury claim will also pay for your medical expenses. Your private health insurance may then seek reimbursement through subrogation. There are exceptions to an insurance company’s subrogation rights.

Can Med Pay Coverage Be Subrogated?
Your automobile insurance policy may provide coverage for medical payments called Med Pay. Those covered under Med Pay include:

  • The policyholder
  • The policyholder’s family
  • Passengers in the covered vehicle

Med Pay applies whether you are at fault or not, and it also applies if you or a family member are a pedestrian and get hit by a motor vehicle.

Nevada law requires insurance companies to offer optional Med Pay insurance of at least $1,000 when offering motor vehicle insurance policies. But policyholders can choose Med Pay with limits sometimes as high as $100,000.

Also, subrogation of Med Pay coverage is not allowed in Nevada. That means that even if the responsible party’s insurance pays, you do not have to reimburse your insurance company.

Subrogation is one of those things that makes personal injury claims more complex. A Las Vegas law firm experienced in all aspects of personal injury claims can ensure that clients receive the maximum amount of compensation their damages demand. Call The Schnitzer Law Firm at the number below and receive a FREE consultation about your injury claim.

Medicare and Nevada Medicaid
As with private health insurance, both Medicare and Nevada Medicaid will cover medical expenses incurred in a personal injury. Both, though, are payers of last resort. An insurance company with a duty to pay must pay all or part of the claim before Medicare and Medicaid kick in. Also, as with private health insurance, Medicare and Nevada Medicaid may seek reimbursement through subrogation.

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When Medicare and Nevada Medicaid pay, they have the authority to waive or reduce payment. Medicare can waive recovery upon two conditions:

  1. The beneficiary was not at fault for Medicare’s conditional payments.
  2. Paying back the money will cause financial hardship or is otherwise unfair.

Nevada Medicaid may reduce payment “in consideration of the legal services provided by an attorney to procure a recovery for the recipient.”

Nevada’s State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
Subrogation rights extend to SCHIP the same as with Nevada Medicaid. The importance of having a Las Vegas personal injury law firm represent you in pursuing waiver or reduced payment to government insurers can mean a considerable increase in compensation for damages.

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What is a Medical Lien?
A medical lien is typically used when a personal injury victim needs to wait for a settlement or judgment before paying medical expenses. Either the victim does not have health insurance or cannot afford to pay their insurance policy’s deductibles.

Liens can be created as a contract between the victim and the medical provider. The signed lien contract gives the doctor the right to be paid for the medical services provided from the settlement proceeds.

Las Vegas injury attorneys establish relationships with doctors who treat their clients in personal injury cases. Such a relationship is beneficial for the doctor, the client, and the personal injury case.

Attorneys often encourage treating physicians to file a lien in a personal injury case. Doing so accomplishes at least three things:

  1. The liens legally memorialize medical bills.
  2. Treating physicians have the assurance of being paid.
  3. Clients are able to receive medical treatment while their case is negotiated or litigated.

A person who suffers serious injury in an accident needs time to heal without worrying about how medical bills will get paid. A Las Vegas personal injury law firm that works with treating doctors and drafts lien agreements with them knows the future is often uncertain.

There are no guarantees that a settlement or trial will be as favorable as hoped. That is why you want experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable attorneys that clients and medical providers trust. The Schnitzer Law Firm is that law firm.

Call for Your FREE Consultation
Discover more about The Schnitzer Law Firm online at or call (702) 960-4050 to request your FREE Consultation.
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