North Carolina law protects medical care providers who treat personal injury claimants by providing a limited lien against any settlement or verdict. See, N.C.G.S. § 44-49. By its express terms, the statute also protects those providing ambulance services. However, unlike other medical service providers, EMS providers may also file a lien against the real property “of any person whose been furnished ambulance service by a county or municipal agency or at the expense of county or municipal government.” N.C.G.S. § 44-51.1. This ambulance service provider lien exists for a maximum of ten (10) years after the date on which the ambulance service was furnished. If you have been injured in an automobile accident or other incident requiring ambulance services, and are now facing collection efforts, contact the Raleigh personal injury attorneys of Maginnis Howard at (919) 526-0450.
In order to have a valid lien against your real property, the ambulance service provider lien must be filed within the 90 days. For certain counties (those listed under N.C.G.S. § 44-51.8), they may file a lien under N.C.G.S. § 44-51.4. Notably, no lien under N.C.G.S. § 44-51.4 “shall be valid unless filed after 90 days of the date of the furnishing of ambulance service, and within 180 days of the date of the furnishing of ambulance service.” N.C.G.S. § 44-51.6.
Liens under N.C.G.S. § 44-51.4 are more effective, because they entitle the County to use attachment or garnishment proceedings to enforce the lien. With most personal injury claims, the attorney must pay the ambulance bill pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 44-49 anyway. Therefore, most represented claimants do not have to deal with garnishment or attachment. Nevertheless, it is important to realize that certain EMS providers can proceed pursuant to the above statutes should they choose to do so.
The Raleigh attorneys of Maginnis Howard offer free consultations for all personal injury claimants, including automobile accident victims. Our representation is under a contingency fee arrangement so that you do not pay any attorneys’ fees unless we make a recovery for your injuries. We will fight to limit the disbursement of your recovery to lien and subrogation claimants.
To speak with a personal injury lawyer at Maginnis Howard, contact the firm’s Raleigh office at (919) 526-0450. The firm regularly represents clients in the Wake County area, including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Morrisville, Wake Forest, Apex, Fayetteville, Sanford, Clayton, and Wilson. You may also send confidential email inquiries via our contact page.