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What are “liens”? How will this affect how much I get?

Video transcript:

Hi, this is Stuart Talley. I’m the partner here responsible for the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG 2 litigation. The reason I’m doing this video today is to answer a question that many clients have been asking us about the recently announced Stryker settlement. Many people have heard that part of this settlement does not include what we call liens. What that means is that there is going to be a deduction from the amount you receive for liens. What are liens?

Liens are essentially the right of your healthcare insurance company or Medicare to recover, from your lawsuit, any amount that they expended for your medical bills associated with your revision surgery. Now the amount of those liens can vary dramatically depending on what kind of insurance you have. But there are a couple things that are important to know.

First, it’s the amount that your insurance company actually paid that is a lien on your case. It is not the amount that your hospital or your doctor billed for your revision, it’s the amount your insurance paid. And often, those are very different numbers.

The second thing that is important to know is that through the help of your lawyer, you should be able to get those liens reduced pretty substantially. Now most people that have Stryker cases, their lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. So they get a percentage of their settlement. It usually ranges from 30-40 percent. Now the law, in most states, is very clear that if you have a recovery and your insurance company is entitled to reimbursement for medical expenses, its not fair that you have to pay the fee that is necessary to get them their medical expenses back. So, almost all insurance companies will agree to reduce their lien by the amount of their attorney fees.

For example, if you have a 30% contract with your attorney, usually the lien holder will reduce the lien by at least 30%. Sometimes you can get further reductions, especially if you have a  settlement that is on the low end of what you were expecting. So, if you have a lien, it is something that has to be dealt with. Your attorney will be in contact with your insurance company or Medicare, advising them of the settlement. The process usually entails getting medical records and bills from the insurance company to compare it against the actual medical treatment to make sure there are not bills included in there that should not be. Then there is a negotiation process, where your attorney should actually seek to reduce the liens. The purpose of this is to get as much money in your pocket as possible.

Now if you have a Stryker Rejuvenate hip and you can participate in the settlement, we would be happy to help you out. We have lots of experience dealing with cases like this. We know how to negotiate liens. We know how to get them down as far as we can get them down and we would be happy to help you out. So if you have one of these hips, feel free to call us at the number on your screen or visit our website and fill out one of our online forms.

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