It's a sad reality that if you file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused your injuries, your health insurance provider may put a medical lien on your award to collect the money it paid on your behalf for your care. As unfair as it may seem, there's likely a clause in your contract stating you are obligated to repay the provider's expenses in certain situations. However, you are not required to pay the full amount. Here are two ways you can negotiate a lower sum and keep more of your money.
Create Doubt About Your Ability to Recover Compensation
Above all, your health insurance provider wants to be compensated for the money it spent on you. If you don't win your case, it won't get anything at all. Thus, the company may be willing to accept less than is owed if it thinks you may not prevail in the lawsuit, because getting a fraction of the bill is better than getting nothing at all. So making an effort to highlight the weaknesses in your case may, contrarily, convince the company to settle.
Another tactic is to show the amount the company is asking for exceeds the amount you're likely to recover from the case, creating a disincentive for you to litigate. If you don't sue, neither of you will get any money. Therefore, the company may agree to a lesser amount as an enticement to you to proceed with the case.
Use State Laws to Your Favor
Before attempting to negotiate with your insurance provider, it's a good idea to research subrogation laws in your state. Some states don't allow health insurance providers to put medical liens on their policyholders' personal injury awards or to even attempt to collect the money paid on their customers' behalf. If this is the case in your state, you can simply refer the insurance adjuster to the law and continue on with your case.
In other states, though, health insurance provider can ask clients to repay them. However, they are required to reduce the bill by the amount you must pay your attorney to litigate the case. Personal injury lawyers typically work on contingency and will take a percentage (anywhere from 33 to 40 percent) of your court award. The insurance company must reduce the bill by the same percentage your lawyer charges you.
There may be other ways to get your health insurance provider to settle for a lower repayment amount. Talk to a personal injury attorney, such as from Gartner Law Firm, for advice and assistance.