It is common for hospitals to file liens against patients as a way to ensure they are paid, even by the 25 percent of people without health insurance in Texas. However, more and more hospitals in Texas seem to be abusing liens by overcharging high numbers of accident victims. For example, UMC Brackenridge in Austin has filed more liens than any other hospital in Central Texas with 18,300 filed since 1999.
In addition, a spokesperson from the Seton Family of Hospitals told reporters that the only times the hospital does not automatically file a lien is when a patient’s hospital bill is less than $5,000. One attorney said in reference to the liens, “The hospital has this lien statute, and they’ve got all the power. You have no ability to negotiate until you file suit and go to court.”
In one case, an Austin woman, Jean Bogardus, was the victim of a pedestrian accident after being run over by a car in a parking lot in 2007. Bogardus’s leg was broken in three place and she spent two days at UMC Brackenridge after doctors performed surgery on her leg. The hospital charged her $31,115 and, rather than billing her medical insurance, the first thing officials did was file a lien for payment.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of an accident in San Antonio, contact the San Antonio personal injury attorneys of Chris Mayo Injury Lawyers at (210) 999-9999 to learn more about how we can help you.