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Lien vs. Subrogation

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It may seem to many in the general public that those involved in the legal system do not speak English as we know it. Words you might hear or even use every day take on a completely new meaning, whereas some words exist solely in the legal sphere. Oftentimes, there is so little difference between some legal terms, that many lawyers are confused by the difference. Take for example, the difference between a subrogation interest and a lien. Many lawyers confuse the two.

Consider a case where there is a settlement—medical malpractice, worker’s comp, car accident, etc. A party such as an insurance company or medical facility might claim rights to part of the settlement. This is not as simple as it sounds, however, and is where subtle differences in word definitions can make a huge difference.

If there is a lien on the settlement—properly filed and with proper notice—legally speaking, the lawyers involved in the case are required by law to pay the party to whom money is owed.

Compare that to subrogation. This means that a party has a right to some of the money in a settlement, but the lawyers involved are not obligated by law to pay them. Even so, the client could potentially get in trouble if the money was not paid. In this case, it’s in everyone’s best interest to work out the details and follow-up on parties that might stand to benefit from a settlement.

Legal terms and the processes they represent can be extremely complicated and incredibly confusing to anyone not well-versed in legal terminology. A quality legal team will not only know the difference between different-but-similar legal terms, but advise you on what steps to take. In essence, it’s their job to understand the complexities involved in various legal terms and strategies, and how each could impact you.

When facing a legal battle, you want to be sure you are armed with the best possible allies. That is what you get at the Law Offices of Dr. Brad Bradshaw.