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RESOLVING HOSPITAL, CHILD SUPPORT AND DIVISION OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES LIENS IN PERSONAL INJURY CASES

by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA

 

Hospital Liens

Generally, every hospital, nursing home, licensed physician, or dentist may assert a lien for services rendered by way of treatment, care, or maintenance to any person who has sustained personal injuries in an accident as a result of negligence or alleged negligence of any other person.[1] The lien attaches to the proceeds of any settlement, award, or judgment an injured person may obtain from a third party as a result of the injuries for which services were provided.[2] Hospital liens may be difficult to negotiate; however, such liens are subject to strict filing and notice requirements[3] and failure to comply with the statute is fatal to the lien claim.

 

Child Support

New Jersey imposes liens for child support against any proceeds recovered from a personal injury settlement.[4] The lien shall have priority over all other levies and garnishments against the net proceeds of any settlement, judgment, or award, unless otherwise provided by the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part. The only exception is unpaid income taxes.

 

Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)

The Division of Developmental Disabilities asserts liens for many of its programs. Before settling a case, it is important to check with DDD if plaintiff has been receiving those services.

 

[1] N.J.S.A. 2A:44-36.

[2] N.J.S.A. 2A:44-37.

[3] N.J.S.A. 2A:44-41.

[4] N.J.A.C. 2A:17-56.23(b).

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