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Lien On Me: Claimant’s Attorney Gets No Fee for Uncontested Bill Paid Directly to Provider

Motor Vehicle Litigation / March 19, 2021

A “charging lien” is an “equitable right to have the fees and costs due for services secured out of the judgment or recovery in a particular suit.” Christensen, unpub op at 3. “The attorneys’ charging lien creates a lien on a judgment, settlement, or other money recovered as a result of the attorney’s services.” Id.

Charging liens can get complicated in the no-fault context because under MCL 500.3112 (as amended effective June 11, 2019), either the provider or the injured person can pursue recovery of a particular bill.

A provider “not wishing to pay one-third of the funds recovered on its behalf to an insured’s attorney could pursue its own claim, intervene, instruct the insured’s attorney not to pursue a claim on its behalf, or notify the insurer that the insured’s attorney does not represent the provider’s interests.” Christensen, unpub op at 3-4.

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