New Case Law In Ohio Impacts Attorneys’ Liens

What is an attorney lien and what does it mean for your personal injury case? The article posted by, written by Goldberg Segalla titled: “Ohio Supreme Court Holds Insurers Not Responsible For Charging Liens” discusses a new ruling which impacts attorney liens in the state of Ohio. First and foremost what is an attorney’s lien? A lien is basically a notice that a debt is owed. An attorney asserts a lien in the event that either the client or their office chooses to terminate the attorney client agreement. Attorney’s assert liens in relation to contingency claims. Contingency claims are personal injury cases, workers compensation cases, social security disability claims, etc… that do not require that the client pay a retainer nor does the attorney charge an hourly rate. A case being handled on a contingency basis means that the attorney does not receive payment until the client receives their settlement. In the event that a client or an attorney terminates their contingency arrangement it is common practice for the attorney to assert a lien on the settlement should the client receive one. The lien is to serve as payment for time and resources used to pursue the client’s case up until the point of termination. In regard to personal injury claims, up until recently attorneys could send notice of their lien to the involved insurance company and the insurance company would honor the lien and notify and pay the attorney at the time of settlement. This new decision now dictates that it is no longer the insurance company’s responsibility to honor the attorney’s lien. The decision in the Ohio Supreme Court case: Kisling sets a new precedent for attorney’s liens.