Visitor Question

Should I settle before knowing the amount of my medical lien?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Fremont, California)

My accident happened in 2017 and only now is my case being settled. I was a passenger, so the driver’s insurance is the one handling my case. I have already finished all my treatment/services and all the bills have been paid by MY medi-cal.

Basically since the incident, the insurance company has been cooperative and informative but also not great at updates. I feel like the agent is not telling me everything I need to know. It’s my first ever accident.

The agent is now advising me that I am able to receive my settlement even though my medical lien has not come through yet, which is the last thing that needs to be processed. I have talked to the agent and have been informed and sent an offer.

I am not quite sure if this is legit. I’m going to get my half but only to have some of it taken away when the lien comes. Is it ok to sign the release of all claims before knowing the percentage/amount of my medical lien?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

It would be in your best interest to learn the amount of your medical lien before accepting a settlement amount. In most cases, insurance companies pay medical liens of claimants before sending settlements to the claimant.

Knowing the amount of your medical lien will help you to know the net settlement amount you will receive after those liens are paid.

However, those liens must be paid. If they are not, you may be subject to legal action by the medical creditors which may include your doctor, chiropractor, hospital, pharmacy, and other medical providers to whom you owe money.

Whether the insurance company pays them, or you do, be sure you know who the lienholders are and the amounts you owe.

To minimize the amount of liens you are responsible for, contact the lien holders and ask them to “compromise” the amounts due. This means the lienholders may agree to reduce your bills so they can be paid quickly. It is important to know you do not have a legal right to gain a compromise of your medical lien. The decision will be strictly up to the medical creditors.

Learn more here: Medical Liens on Your Settlement

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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