Medicare, Medicaid, worker’s compensation and health insurance that pays for the treatment of injuries caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another likely have subrogation rights as to any monies recovered by the injured party from the at-fault person and/or their insurer for the expense of treatment of such injuries and, in some instances, lost wages.
In other words, even though an injured party pays insurance premiums for health coverage, subrogation liens must be paid before the injured party personally receives a single cent from a settlement or judgment. Is this fair? We don’t think so for a variety of reasons. Do juries understand this? Probably not, and the law prohibits lawyers from talking to jurors about such matters at trial.
But the fact remains that injured parties must account for subrogation claims when pursuing a personal injury claim. And such liens must be paid from settlement or judgment proceeds unless alternative arrangements can be negotiated with the lien holder.
The nature and amount of a subrogation claim can vary depending upon the type of lien holder (i.e., Medicare, Medicaid, worker’s compensation, health insurance, etc.) and the relation of the treatment to the injury.
The subrogation claims may in some instances, encompass not only past but also future medical treatment. When future medical treatment is involved, depending on the circumstances, arrangements may be required to set aside funds from a settlement or judgment to pay for future medical treatment.
A lawyer can help you understand and address those subrogation claims. They are frequently able to negotiate reductions or waivers of those claims depending upon the circumstances of a given case.
A prudent person would obtain legal advice on subrogation claims because the law can be quite complicated.