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People who get injured are frequently reluctant to pursue claims. I think a lot of it has to do with the insurance industry and big businesses trying to "shame" deserving people by characterizing every personal injury claim as a "frivolous lawsuit". But I also think that some people question whether they are going to net anything after their doctors are paid.

(This applies to people who don’t have insurance and owe their doctors money. I have written other blogs about whether you have to pay anything back to your health or PIP insurer.)

The good news is that yes, you are going to have money after your doctors get paid. The Washington legislature made sure of it when it enacted RCW 60.44.010 (which deals with health care provider liens).

The statute both authorizes and limits liens. It provides that "all the said liens for service rendered to any one person as a result of any one accident or event shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the amount of an award, verdict, report, decision, decree, judgment, or settlement."

That means that the total amount of all liens cannot exceed 25 percent of the money you get for your personal injury case. At most the doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists can only get 25 percent of what you recover. It’s a powerful tool but not an absolute magic bullet.

If you have questions about how provider liens affect your case I’d be happy to answer them.

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