There is a lot involved in a personal injury case. Of course handling any legal matter can be complex but some areas can be overlooked, even by those with some experience.
Our Greensboro car accident attorneys know that personal injury litigation can have some hidden complexities.
A recent case involving a hospital and a large insurance company. The case proceeded as many car accident litigation cases.
But as a result of medical treatment, three hospitals filed hospital liens (totaling about $67,000). The injured individual filed suit against a large insurance company and received a settlement offer. The settlement from the insurance company offered $100,000 but expressly required any hospital liens to be satisfied out of the settlement proceeds (the $100,000).
The settlement offer also included typical language that acted as a general release from all equitable and legal claims of any kind. Unfortunately, the hospital liens were never satisfied. As a result the hospitals filed a suit seeking payment.
The appellate court ruled the suit was barred by a one-year statute of limitations on hospital lien lawsuits, the hospitals appealed.
The state’s supreme court then reversed the appellate court’s decision. Although the state supreme court acknowledged that some informal discussion of the settlement had occurred it ruled that the one-year time period did not begin to run until a formal agreement had been signed.
This finding, that the statute of limitations should be tolled, effectively extended the amount of time the hospitals had to file suit. Medical liens are a crucial part of resolving many personal injury cases — so it’s imperative that an experienced attorney handle these types of cases.
What is even more concerning about this case is that even the justices deciding the case suggested that the statute was difficult to apply and that the Legislature should make revisions. This sort of acknowledgment from the justices further highlights how difficult it can be to navigate these legal waters without professional help.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
Clarity Sought on Liens Statute, January 28, 2014, By Alyson M. Palmer, Daily Report.
More Blog Entries:
Study: post-accident neck pain is common, Jan. 21, 2014, By Mark Huffman, Consumer Affairs
Insurance Company May Fight Underinsured Motorist Claims in North Carolina, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, January 17, 2014