call toll-free (925) 835-7500
Free Case Evaluation

Kaiser Liens (Paying Back Kaiser Out of Your Settlement Proceeds)

It may seem odd, but if you have Kaiser, you are probably going to end up giving them a portion of the settlement proceeds you receive from your personal injury claim. This is because Kaiser has a medical lien on your case. The reasoning for this is that they have had to spend a bunch of money to help you recover from your injuries, money Kaiser would not have had to spend had it not been for your rear-end accident or pedestrian accident. But there is an upside - you are entitled to use the medical bills to increase your personal injury settlement. If you could only collect for your co-pays, most personal injury cases would be pretty minor. Instead of being limited to your co-pays or other out-of-pocket expenses, however, you get to use the full amount of your medical bills. So even if your out-of-pocket expenses were only $300, you would use your entire $5,000 medical bill to set your damages and negotiate a settlement or pursue a verdict in court. That allows you to act as a sort of bill collector for Kaiser. You then essentially get paid for acting is Kaiser's bill collector. You get paid because, under California Civil Code section 3040, Kaiser can then take only a portion of your total settlement. If you are represented by a personal injury lawyer, the most Kaiser can take is 1/3 of the settlement. On the other hand, if you are not represented by a personal injury lawyer, Kaiser can collect up to 1/2 of your settlement. In no case can Kaiser collect more than what it paid out for your claim.

Pete Clancy is a personal injury lawyer and the founding partner of Clancy & Diaz, LLP in Oakland, CA. He can be reached at 925-835-7500.