Article 9.

Liens upon Recoveries for Personal Injuries to Secure Sums Due for Medical Attention, etc.

§ 44‑49.  Lien created; applicable to persons non sui juris.

(a) From and after March 26, 1935, there is hereby created a lien upon any sums recovered as damages for personal injury in any civil action in this State. This lien is in favor of any person, corporation, State entity, municipal corporation or county to whom the person so recovering, or the person in whose behalf the recovery has been made, may be indebted for any drugs, medical supplies, ambulance services, services rendered by any physician, dentist, nurse, or hospital, or hospital attention or services rendered in connection with the injury in compensation for which the damages have been recovered. Where damages are recovered for and in behalf of minors or persons non compos mentis, the liens shall attach to the sum recovered as fully as if the person were sui juris. The priority of a lien held by the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees shall be superior to all nongovernmental liens and rights, whether such liens and rights are prior or subsequent to the lien.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, no lien provided for under subsection (a) of this section is valid with respect to any claims whatsoever unless the physician, dentist, nurse, hospital, corporation, or other person entitled to the lien furnishes, without charge to the attorney as a condition precedent to the creation of the lien, upon request to the attorney representing the person in whose behalf the claim for personal injury is made, an itemized statement, hospital record, or medical report for the use of the attorney in the negotiation, settlement, or trial of the claim arising by reason of the personal injury, and a written notice to the attorney of the lien claimed.

(c) No action shall lie against any clerk of court or any surety on any clerk's bond to recover any claims based upon any lien or liens created under subsection (a) of this section when recovery has been had by the person injured, and no claims against the recovery were filed with the clerk by any person or corporation, and the clerk has otherwise disbursed according to law the money recovered in the action for personal injuries. (1935, c. 121, s. 1; 1947, c. 1027; 1959, c. 800, s. 1; 1967, c. 1204, s. 1; 1969, c. 450, s. 1; 2001‑377, s. 1; 2001‑487, s. 59; 2018‑52, s. 5(b).)