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How Medical Insurance Payments Affect a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal Injury Insurance

In Nevada, medical insurance payments may significantly affect a personal injury lawsuit. As discussed below, when medical insurance pays for a personal injury, and a lawsuit is filed, the medical insurance provider will likely place a lien on the money provided. Depending on the circumstances, using health insurance to pay for bills related to an accident may be beneficial to the injured party.

Several laws exist to protect individuals from personal injuries that result from negligence, product liability, malpractice, and more. Please note, in Nevada, per NRS 11.190, there is a strict limit on how much time you have to file such a lawsuit. Basically, you have two years after the accident date to file your case in a Nevada state court. In legal terms, this is known as the Statute of Limitations. It is vital to pay attention to this law because if you decide to file your lawsuit subsequent to that two-year period, a Nevada court will almost certainly refuse to hear the case.

What happens when Medical Insurance pays for your Medical Bills?

Generally, if a person is involved in an accident, and has health insurance, the bills will be submitted to health insurance for payment. For example, a person is casually shopping at Home Depot when tools fall from a shelf onto this person, causing significant injuries. The individual is then rushed to the emergency room, provided medical attention, and, luckily, his healthcare insurance covered all the expenses! Now, this person is left with a decision: whether or not to pursue a claim for personal injury. If the person receives a settlement, his medical insurance provider may place a lien on the amount previously provided to cover the medical bills. Ultimately, this means that when the claim is settled, after his attorney’s fees are paid from said judgment, and other expenses, the medical insurance provider’s lien is then paid off. The leftover money, will then go to the injured person. Every case is different, and many different factors will determine whether it is viable to pursue a claim, and the existence of health insurance, and whether it is feasible to use health insurance, is always something that should be considered in every case.

Obligations of the Personal Injury Attorney

Suppose an injured person specifically instructs his attorney to not pay the medical insurance provider if he were to obtain a settlement. What is the attorney to do? This is a rare situation where the lawyers have ethical duties running in favor of someone other than his or her client. Nevada’s Rules of Professional Conduct indicate the attorney generally must work with the insurance company to satisfy the medical lien before the money is disbursed to the client or the attorney. Once the medical insurance provider pays the injured person’s medical bills, they become a creditor to reimbursement from any judgment money received. The medical insurance provider, thus, obtains an interest in the funds and the lawyer has three ethical obligations: (i) to promptly notify the client and third person on receipt of the funds; (ii) to promptly deliver to the client or third person any funds that the client or third person is entitled to recover; and (iii) upon request by the client or third person, to promptly render a full accounting regarding the funds.

Seek Representation for your Case

To maximize available compensation, it is critical to obtain the representation of an experienced personal injury attorney. The experienced personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, and Martinez have been helping victims in Southern Nevada since 1970. They maintain a superior knowledge of Nevada law and the statutes and issues related to personal injury, health insurance issues, and they are dedicated to assisting injured people protect themselves, and their families, from future harm. Their team can be reached at (702) 388-4476 and they are conveniently located at 601 South Ninth Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101.