Question: I was injured in a car accident. I was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Now, the hospital wants to get reimbursed for their bill and filed a lien in my case. Can they do that? What are my options?
Answer: The Texas Property Code provides that a hospital may file a lien to protect its charges that relate to any accident or incident where there may be recovery from some other source, such as a personal injury settlement. There are some formal requirements of a valid hospital lien, but the hospitals are pretty good about getting the lien filed correctly. If a valid hospital lien is filed, then that lien is superior to your right to recovery from the proceeds of any settlement with the liable person or their insurance company.
Many times, the hospital is willing to settle its lien depending on all the circumstances of the settlement. But it is important to note that the lien must be valid. Likewise, your attorney may find a way to either invalidate the lien or limit it in some way.
You should also be aware that a hospital lien is not enforceable against uninsured or under-insured motorist proceeds.