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Illinois Health Care Services Lien Act and Minors

When an injured person receives medical treatment as a result of personal injuries he or she sustained due to another person's negligence, then to recover for the treatment rendered, Medical Providers and Medical Professionals under Illinois Health Care services lien act can claim a lien on injured person's personal injury case. This lien cannot be claimed if the services rendered are due to and under the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act. Even though a lien can be claimed by the Health Care Providers/Professional for the full amount of the services rendered/bills generated, Pursuant to the Health Care Services Lien Act, if there are multiple liens claimed by different Providers/Professionals, the sum of all liens combined cannot exceed 40% of the total settlement or award. If there is one lien holder, then the lien for that Provider/Professional cannot exceed more than one-third of settlement or award.

Illinois Health Care Services lien sets out the below procedure for claiming and perfecting a lien. "The lien shall include a written notice containing the name and address of the injured person, the date of the injury, the name and address of the health care professional or health care provider, and the name of the party alleged to be liable to make compensation to the injured person for the injuries received. The lien notice shall be served on both the injured person and the party against whom the claim or right of action exists. Service shall be made by registered or certified mail or in person." 770 ILCS 23/10(b) (West 2014).

Once a lien is perfected, than the lien holder gets paid from the proceeds of the settlement and/or award. Once a lien is perfected, it cannot be ignored. If a Health Care claims a lien for services rendered for treatment that is not related to the personal injury case, then a motion can be filed with the appropriate county to determine the related amount of the lien and to quash the unrelated treatment.

Recently, Illinois Appellate Court weighed on Liens of Healthcare Providers and Professional in cases for minors. Manago ex rel. Pritchett v. Cty. of Cook, 2016 IL App (1st) 121365 (2016). The Appellate court held that the lien act does not distinguish between minors and adults and a lien can be enforced against a minor. They further stated that even though a lien can be enforced against a minor, Pursuant to Family Medical Expense Act (which in part states that parents are liable for the medical expenses of their children) parents and not minors can recover for their medical expenses. Due to this, a lien cannot be pursued against a minor, and can only be pursued against the parents unless the parents has assigned their interests to the minor. The Court further went on to state that when a parent has not assigned his or her cause of action to the minor, regardless of whether or not medical expenses are awarded, if a lien is not claimed under the family expense act, it cannot be attached to any award or judgment obtained by the minor. The Appellate court further found that if a lien is claimed under the family expense act, but the award is not for medical bills, no lien from a Healthcare can be attached.

At Strong Law Offices we do everything to maximize your settlement and to assure that the least possible amount of medical bills are taken out of your settlement. If you are injured Call Strong Law Offices for a free consultation.

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