Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 10
Liens Not Paid
This is the third time this month the same question has been asked regarding liens.
It is unacceptable to not get paid. That is a hard rule.
However, most of the time you don't get paid because of something YOU DID or didn't do and with a few simple procedural steps, you will get paid.
…so how do you handle it when you have this and they sign a lien (and the attorney won't co-sign a lien), and then the patient gets the money when you have a balance...and the patient is a deadbeat?
You need to get a signed lien from your patient and fax it to the lawyer. Save the fax receipt, as it is admissible when you go after the lawyer's license in your ethics complaint against the lawyer. This can be cause for them to lose their license. Usually, that threat will get them to work with you.
Now...to prevent the problem, which is the major issue because all you want to do is get paid, send the signed line to the lawyer the day the patient signs it via certified mail, return receipt, after you fax it. The combined levels of communication, both certified and faxed, will get their attention to pay your claim. I also make it a habit of calling the lawyer 6 months after the patient starts care to remind them of what my lien is, so they remember to pay me.
Remember the acronym. RRR...Repeat and Review with Regularity or in plain English, be a pain in their respective asses (with love) so you get paid!!!!
Add one more thing to the equation...the attorney sends you business and he screwed up.
Providing the lawyer is a very good referrer...If this is an isolated incident and the lawyer makes an honest mistake, inform the lawyer that you took one on the chin for him and he owes you to make up for the amount you lost. Let him know how much it cost you, in a very gentle way, and consider it a marketing expense. Let your accountant know that you wrote off bad debt and they can possibly deduct it off your income tax, so that you won't actually lose.