Trusted Name, Quality Representation
what is a personal lien

What is a Lien in an Arizona Personal Injury Case?

Many people who seek compensation for their injuries in Arizona are surprised to discover that a doctor’s office, car repair shop, or other party has sought a “lien” against their settlement – and that, as a result, the amount of money they’ll receive is lower than they thought it would be.

Because a lien can affect your expectations and plans for the future, it’s important to understand what liens are and how they work.

What Is a Personal Injury Lien?

A lien allows another party to assert a claim to part of any settlement you receive in a personal injury case. Often, a lien is filed by a party to whom you owe money. For instance, if you are treated by a hospital after your injury and you haven’t been able to pay the bill, the hospital may file a lien in order to ensure it gets paid out of any settlement you receive.

While medical liens are one of the most common types seen in personal injury cases, they’re not the only type of lien available.  For instance, if you owe money to a repair shop for fixing your car after a crash, the repair shop might also decide to file a lien.

Consensual vs.
Non-Consensual Liens

You have the option to agree to a lien with another party before the lien is filed. These liens are known as “consensual” liens.  One type of consensual lien called a medical lien can be a useful way to obtain medical care when you do not have health insurance and cannot afford to pay for the care out of pocket.    

It’s important to talk to your lawyer about consensual liens before you agree to them. The amount of the lien should be weighed against the amount of compensation you can reasonably expect in the case.

Not all liens are consensual. Some parties will seek additional payments through a lien, even after you believe the bill has already been settled.

For instance, hospitals take the position that Arizona law allows them to seek a lien even after your insurance has already paid for your treatment. The lien is asserted to recover the difference between the amount the hospital charged and what insurance agreed to pay. This practice is called “balance billing,” and it can be extremely distressing for those who thought their medical bills had been paid.  An experienced personal injury attorney will  discuss the current state of Arizona law and the amount, if any, owed to the hospital.

How Does a Lien Affect My Settlement?

In an ideal world, your settlement would be easy to obtain and easy to understand. In practice, however, liens can drastically delay your  settlement, reduce the final dollar amount, and make your entire case more difficult to complete.

Often, liens amount to only a few hundred dollars. In other situations, however, they can be substantially more.

In addition, you may not realize a lien exists until it is paid or the lien holder releases it.  

Choosing an attorney with experience in liens is critical. The lawyer can direct you to avoid liens, and if a lien is recorded, to fight to ensure that those who file liens receive no more than that to which they are entitled.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. At the Folger Law Firm we are dedicated to helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.

We work on a contingency basis, so if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid. 


What sets Us Apart?

  • 20+ Years of Legal Experience

    We understand how insurance companies and huge enterprises try to avoid liability. We aren't hesitant to go toe-to-toe with big corporations in order to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they deserve.

  • Personalized Attention & Carefully Curated Legal Plans

    Benefit from hiring an attorney that used to represent the insurance companies to fight for You. Injuries suffered in an accident affect not only the person injured, but also their family.

  • Experienced & Aggressive Representation

    Our firm provides experienced and aggressive representation to obtain the compensation our clients deserve.

  • Step-By-Step Legal Guidance

    The Folger Law Firm works closely with its clients, guiding them step-by-step through the entire claim process, reducing the stress on our clients and their families.


  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.