Steven J. Bruzonsky
Attorney At Law
Law Office of
Steven J. Bruzonsky
917 E. San Angelo Ave.
Gilbert, AZ 85234
What are Liens in Personal Injury Cases?
You are probably familiar with mechanic's liens. In Arizona, the mechanic's lien statutes (ARS § 33-981 et seq) provide protection to contractors who supply professional services, materials, machinery, fixtures or tools for the improvement of real property. The contractor may file a mechanic's lien that attaches to the building, structure or improvement which has been enhanced by the contractor's services, materials or labor. When the building, structure or improvement is sold, the contractor has a lien on the sales proceeds.
Personal injury liens are similar to mechanic's liens, but instead of attaching to real property, personal injury liens attach to your upcoming personal injury settlement funds. The law is very complex and ever changing regarding personal injury liens claims. In Arizona, the personal injury lien statutes (ARS § 33-931 et seq) provide protection to ambulances, hospitals, doctors and other healthcare providers who provide you with accident-related medical care and treatment. Also, sometimes doctors or other healthcare providers will have you sign a written lien guaranteeing payment from your personal injury settlement. Personal injury lien claims may also be made by health insurers, and also by auto medical payments or personal injury protection auto insurers which pay your accident-related medical benefits. Your health insurance, whether provided through your employer, by the federal or state government (Medicare, AHCCCS/Medicaid, Tri-Care, military, Veteran's Administration, Public Health Service, Indian Health Service, an Arizona state or political subdivision such as Arizona state agencies and even local cities and school districts, etc.), and even a privately purchased health insurance policy, may have or make lien claims against your personal injury settlement. And you will probably find that the insurance carrier that is paying your personal injury settlement will insist that the liens are satisfied as part of the settlement.
Personal Injury Liens Seminars and Publications
Attorney Bruzonsky writes a "Liens Corner" column for the Arizona Association for Justice/Arizona Trial Lawyers Association (AAJ/AzTLA) monthly publication The Advocate. Click to read Attorney Bruzonsky's monthly "Liens Corner" articles.
He regularly speaks at legal seminars on various personal injury liens topics, for organizations as diverse as the AAJ/AzTLA, State Bar of Arizona, Arizona Paralegal Association and Trialsmith (national trial lawyer partnerships and seminars). Click to see Attorney Bruzonsky's recent professional speaking engagements providing Continuing Legal Education to attorneys.
He is the Associate Editor of "Arizona Personal Injury Lien Law and Practice", published by the AAJ/AzTLA (2006, with a 2007 supplement), having authored the four chapters concerning AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System)/Medicaid, Medicare, Other Federal Liens (Federal Medical Care Recovery Act and Federal Employees Health Benefit Act) and ERISA (employer health plan) liens.
Personal Injury Liens Practice
Attorney Bruzonsky is unique among Arizona attorneys for in addition to his personal injury and wrongful death practice, Attorney Bruzonsky has a personal injury liens practice, in which he handles complex lien situations in personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases for other Arizona attorneys representing injured claimants. Attorney Bruzonsky currently charges $325 per hour, with usually a five hour minimum earned upon receipt & non-refundable retainer, in handling complex lien situations for other Arizona attorneys. Attorney Bruzonsky spends many hours researching and preparing legal articles, memos, seminars and form letters so that he can be very efficient in handling complex lien situations for other Arizona attorneys.
Please understand that Attorney Bruzonsky offers a free initial consultation for personal injury and wrongful death claims, but this does not apply to separate lien claims which are not related to personal injury or wrongful death cases that Attorney Bruzonsky is handling, for which Attorney Bruzonsky charges are as noted above..
However, if you retain Attorney Bruzonsky to handle your personal injury or wrongful death claim on a contingent fee basis, then he will not only personally handle your claim, but he will personally minimize and defeat all personal injury lien claims associated with your case at no additional charge, so that you get the most money possible.
In many cases, Attorney Bruzonsky is able to avoid paying or negotiate substantial reductions in lien claims, thus ensuring that you receive the most money from your injury settlement. Also, if you have available health insurance or auto medical payments coverage, he will work to ensure that these medical coverages pay the maximum benefits on your behalf, and then work to minize and defeat their lien claims.
Click for some examples of how Attorney Bruzonsky has avoided paying or negotiated substantial reductions in Lien or reimbursement claims.