Subrogation Liens in Personal Injury Claims: What Are They?

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Subrogation liens mean the right of a third party to step in the shoes of an injured party to seek reimbursement for expenses paid on behalf of the injured party. An example is when an individual’s medical expenses are covered by their health insurance. The company may have a right to recover the expenses from the responsible party or their insurance company. Personal injury lawyers from experienced law firms like The Flood Law Firm can help you better understand the concept.

Types of Subrogation Liens

Several subrogation liens arise in personal injury claims:

1 . Health Insurance Liens

Health insurance often pays for medical expenses for injuries sustained in accidents. If the injured party received compensation after a judgment or through a settlement, the health insurance company will create a lien to recover the amount they paid for medical expenses. You might need expert advice to get protected. 

2. Medicaid Liens 

Medicaid is a government healthcare program that assists people with low incomes in paying for their medical treatment for injuries sustained in an accident. When an injured party receives compensation after a judgment or settlement, Medicaid may assert a lien to recover the amount paid for the injured party. This is the order in which the Medicaid lien works;

  • Coverage of Medical Expenses

If the injured party is covered by Medicaid, Medicaid will pay for the necessary medical treatment for the sustained injuries. That can include medical examinations, hospital admissions, and medication, among others.

  • Notification of the Medicaid Lien

After Medicaid learns about an injury claim, they assert a lien to notify the injured party or their attorney about seeking reimbursement. They then write to the insurance company of the party responsible and seek compensation.

  • Recovery from Settlement

When the injured party receives compensation through a settlement, Medicaid will seek reimbursement from the judgment proceeds. The reimbursement is only limited to the medical expenses related to the injury.

  • Negotiation

If the compensation is not enough to reimburse Medicaid, your attorney will negotiate with them to reduce the lien amount.

  • Satisfaction of Medicaid Lien

Before the injured party receives any money, Medicaid is reimbursed fully. The remaining amount is then given to the injured party. 

3.Worker’s Compensation Lien

If the injury happened at work, the worker will receive a worker’s compensation benefit. The workers’ compensation insurer will then seek to recover the benefits paid to the injured worker.  Often, the benefits include medical treatment and any other expenses related to the injury.

4.Auto Insurance Lien

If you sustained an injury from a motor vehicle accident, your insurance company might cover your medical expenses. This is covered under personal injury protection. Thereafter, your insurance company will assert a lien against the party at fault or their insurance company. 

5.Hospital Liens 

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Hospitals can assert liens for costs incurred in treating injured parties. The hospital liens are governed by state laws and give a hospital the right to claim a portion of the settlement given to the injured party.  This is the order in which the hospital liens work:

  • Provide medical service to the injured party.
  • Assign a lien for an unpaid medical bill by the patient to the relevant authority.
  • Gets a priority lien (A right to get compensated before any other party)
  • Recovery of the amount owed for medical services.
  • Enforcement of the lien in case it’s not satisfied with the recovery of the amount owed.


Navigating subrogation liens needs a strategic approach. Understand your rights and obligations regarding any applicable lien. A personal injury attorney is a great resource for identifying potential liens and negotiating to minimize reimbursement. Make sure the subrogation liens are addressed during negotiation.