History of Hospital Lien Statute
Indiana’s Hospital Lien Statute, IC 32-33-4, is designed to legislatively protect the financial interests of treating hospitals in accidents involving injury. When an injured party is taken to the hospital following a car, motorcycle, pedestrian or trucking accident, hospital administrators may instruct their attorneys to file a lien for hospital charges against any action, suit or claim which may be brought by the patient against the party or parties responsible for their injuries. The hospital is given a period of 180 days after patient discharge to file the lien with the county recorder’s office and an additional 10 days to serve notice by registered mail upon the Indiana Department of Insurance, claimant and claimant’s attorneys.There are several exceptions to Indiana’s Hospital Lien Statute including distributions paid from the supplemental state fair relief fund. For a list of others, see IC 32-33-4-3(b)(3).
How does the hospital statute affect your claim?
- Hospitals are given up to 180 days to “perfect” or file a hospital lien. An experienced personal injury attorney will not begin negotiating a claim until the hospital has asserted their lien or 180 days have lapsed without the hospital perfecting its lien.
- The statute provides that the claimant shall receive no less than 20% of their settlement. However, the hospital may pursue recovery of any remaining unsatisfied balance by any other legal means necessary.
- Payments made by health insurance shall be deducted from the total amount due. However, the hospital may assert a claim over and above payments received notwithstanding applied discounts contracted with health insurance carriers. If the hospital lien has not been fully satisfied after disbursement from proceeds of the settlement, the hospital may use any legal means necessary to recover the outstanding balance.
Update on Hospital Lien Statute
Since this article was written, the Hospital Lien Statute has been changed by legislators with the help of dedicated attorneys and the Indiana Bar Association. Medicare recipients have also benefitted under the new legislation.
Financial Effects of Hospital Lien Statute and Your Lawyer
An outstanding hospital lien, the result of a catastrophic injury, can bring about financial ruin at a time when wits are required to piece lives back together emotionally and physically. An experienced personal injury attorney will negotiate with all parties involved to secure a full hospital release before settlement is made. The attorneys of Ward & Ward, Charlie Ward and Don Ward, have over 80 years of combined experience in dealing with personal injury and wrongful death claims. We understand personal injury law and work on behalf of our clients to successfully resolve their legal claims.
Call Charlie Ward today for a free consultation at 317-639-9501.