If you were involved in a car accident, you’ll be going through enough stress without worrying about how you will pay for your medical expenses.
Medical lien funding is a form of non-recourse financing that gives you cash when you need it most, allowing you to focus on recovering from your accident injuries.
What Is Medical Lien Funding?
Medical lien financing is a type of pre-settlement funding in the form of a cash advance. The purpose of this funding is to help you meet your expenses while waiting for compensation for a personal injury claim.
As long as you file a personal injury claim and you retain legal counsel, you are eligible to apply for medical lien funding. Like most pre-settlement legal funding, medical lien funding is structured an advance against your anticipated court award or settlement. Your credit score is not a qualifying factor, and you won’t need to prove income or employment status either.
What is a Medical Lien?
In the context of a personal injury claim, a medical lien is basically a claim against your eventual settlement. Perhaps you were seriously injured and have a pile of unpaid medical bills incurred after an accident. If so, the hospital may file a medical lien in the event of your failure to pay those bills.
Alternatively, you may need continuing medical care to treat accident-related injuries. In this event, your attorney might suggest that you work with a doctor or hospital on a medical lien basis. This option can be especially effective if you do not carry adequate health insurance.
A medical-lien based doctor can also provide a comprehensive medical evaluation. You can use this to strengthen your claim.
A medical lien-based treatment team gives you the medical care you need without the requirement to pay out of pocket, and without the quality of that care being compromised. The medical providers know that they will be paid directly from your settlement.
How Medical Lien Funding Works
A medical funding agency acts as a bridge between your lawyer and your medical provider.
Oftentimes, hospitals and healthcare providers place medical liens against patients to ensure that the treatment is paid for as soon as the proceeds of the award or settlement are paid out. That said, placing a lien on someone for care given doesn’t necessarily imply that the provider will continue delivering care if bills are not paid.
Medical lien funding agencies plug this gap, enabling patients to continue getting the care they need, while at the same time guaranteeing providers of payment for treatment provided. The anticipated settlement serves as collateral in this transaction. When the settlement is reached, the funding agency is repaid in full.
How Medical Lien Financing Can Help
This form of financing is especially beneficial for victims of accident injuries who do not carry insurance. Similarly, patients carrying insurance offering very limited coverage may also find medical lien financing a practical solution to spiraling medical bills after an accident.
Often, accident injuries lead to time off work and unexpected medical bills, as well as the costs of prescription medications and rehabilitative therapies. With funds potentially dwindling, medical lien financing allows you to access the medical care you need when you need it, even if you can’t pay upfront for your treatment or surgeries.
Who Qualifies for Medical Lien Funding?
Fortunately, qualifying for medical lien funding is typically straightforward. All you need is an active personal injury claim or lawsuit and an attorney representing you.
If you sustained serious accident injuries, you may be faced with expenses for any or all of the following:
- ER treatment
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
- Pharmacy services
- Mental health care
Beyond this, if you can obtain a thorough medical evaluation, this will shore up your case. Again, this will cost money you might not want to pay out of pocket.
When faced with these expenses and unable to pay upfront or through insurance, medical lien funding can provide a risk-free option to get the continuing medical care you need.
The Difference Between Medical Lien Funding and Pre-Settlement Legal Funding
Medical lien funding should not be confused with pre-settlement legal funding, sometimes also referred to as legal funding.
When you apply for personal injury medical lien funding, the funding is intended purely for your medical expenses. As the accident injury victim, you benefit by getting the treatment, rehabilitation, or surgery you need. You do not see the funding in your bank account, though. The medical lien funding agency will control this funding, repaying the medical provider from your subsequent settlement or award.
Once approved for pre-settlement legal financing, by contrast, the funds will be deposited into your bank account. You can use these funds for any purpose.
These two forms of funding are similar in some ways. The only relevant factors when applying for either form of legal funding are your injuries and the strength of your claim. Neither your creditworthiness nor your income is relevant to your application.
Both medical lien funding and pre-settlement legal funding are non-recourse in nature. This means you repay nothing unless you win your case. As such, both forms of funding are risk-free for accident injury victims.
Paying Back Personal Injury Medical Lien Funding
Medical lien funding is repaid when you win your case. If you do not win your case, you repay nothing.
You will also need to pay any other medical liens out of your settlement, as well as legal fees. If part of your care was paid for by Medicaid or Medicare, you may also need to reimburse them from your settlement. The same applies to any treatment paid for by worker’s compensation.
Your attorney will guide you through all aspects of your claim and any pre-settlement funding you decide to pursue.
What Happens If You Lose Your Case?
If your personal injury case goes to trial and you lose, you will not need to repay the medical lien funding agency.
You may still be liable to pay other medical facilities and agencies that provided care unconnected to that medical lien funding.
What Comes Next?
If you feel you would benefit from medical lien funding, consult your attorney and then reach out to a funding agency for a risk-free way to guarantee quality medical care for your accident injuries.