Q: What are “liens”? How will this affect how much I get?
A: There are deductions from the amount you receive from liens. Liens are essentially the right of your healthcare insurance company, or Medicare, to recover from your lawsuit any amounts they expended from your medical bills associated with your revision surgery. The amount of those liens can vary dramatically depending on your insurance.
There are a couple of important things to know. First, it is the amount your insurance company actually paid that is a lien on your case. It is not the amount the hospital or your doctor billed for your revision. Often times those are very different values. Secondly, your lawyer should get those liens substantially reduced. Most people with Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II cases have lawyers who operate on a contingency fee basis (they get a percentage of their Stryker settlement). The contingency fee generally ranges from 30% to 40%. The law in most states asserts if you have a recovery, and your insurance company is entitled to reimbursement for medical expenses, it is not fair you have to pay the fee necessary to get them their medical expenses back. Almost all insurance companies will agree to reduce their lien by the amount of the attorney’s fees. For instance, if you have a 30% contract with your attorney, usually the lien holder will reduce the lien by at least 30%. Sometimes, you can get further reductions. Especially, if you have a Stryker settlement on the low end of what you were expecting.
If you have a lien, it must be dealt with. Your attorney will be in contact with your insurance company or Medicare advising them of the settlement. The process entails getting your medical records and bills from the insurance company, and comparing it against the actual medical treatment to make sure everything is legitimate. Then there is a negotiation process where your attorney should seek to reduce the lien. The purpose is getting you as much money as possible.
If you have a Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II, and qualify for the Stryker settlement, we are happy to help. We have extensive experience dealing with defective hip litigation and know how to negotiate and reduce liens.