If a lien has been timely filed on a medical bill but the bill is over five years since the date of service, has the statute of limitations run on medical providers' ability to collect on the same or does the lien preserve the creditors ability to collect from the insurance company even after the five years?
Answer: While there is not an Oklahoma case responding to your question, I think the Supreme Court will likely rule that a claim pursuant to a medical lien will be covered by the special limitation provided in the lien statutes, rather than the general lien statute in 12 O.S. Sec. 95. The special statute of limitations is found in 42 O.S. Sec. 44(B):
"The liens provided for in this section and Section 43 of this title may be enforced by civil action in the district court of the county where the lien was filed. Such an action shall be brought within one (1) year after the hospital becomes aware of final judgment, settlement or compromise of the claim asserted or maintained by or on behalf of the injured person."
Be aware that, if you try to contest the applicability of the lien, the prevailing party is entitled to an attorney fee. See: Luetkemeyer v. Magnusson, 2007 OK CIV APP 45, 162 P.3d 970. So, unless your client is judgment-proof, there could be a cost to litigating the issue.
Posted on Mon, July 7, 2014
by Travis Law Office filed under