What is a Letter of Protection in a Personal Injury Case?
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Jun 18, 2021 in Personal Injury
If you are hurt in an accident, even one that is not your fault, you are still responsible for paying for your medical treatment while pursuing an insurance settlement. Unfortunately, many injury victims do not have the means to pay their medical bills. This may lead to victims falling into debt or even foregoing medical treatment to avoid having to pay for medical care they cannot afford.
If you are an injury victim who is having trouble paying your medical bills, our personal injury lawyers in South Bend are prepared to review your claim and see how we may be able to help. For example, we may be able to negotiate the terms of a Letter of Protection with your doctors.
How a Letter of Protection Works
A Letter of Protection (LOP) is a legally binding contract between you and your doctor saying that he or she will treat you for your injuries and hold off on sending your unpaid bills to debt collectors until your injury case is resolved and you recover compensation. Your medical bills are then paid for from the compensation you receive.
While some medical providers may provide their own version of an LOP before you get the necessary treatment, it is important to speak to a licensed attorney before signing anything. Our attorneys know what an LOP should and should not say and we are prepared to help you negotiate with your doctors before you sign an official LOP.
When a Letter of Protection May Be Recommended
The most common reason our attorneys may recommend the use of an LOP is that the injury victim does not have health insurance or a car insurance add-on such as Personal Injury Protection or MedPay. Medical treatment is expensive, and unless an injury victim has the means to pay out of his or her own pocket, these costs can pile up and cause more stress to someone who is already in a very stressful situation.
By negotiating an LOP with your medical service providers, our attorneys may be able to help keep your bills away from debt collectors, which helps protect your credit and your assets while your claim is in process.
How a Letter of Protection May Hurt Your Case
The insurance company that is liable for your damages after an accident is likely going to try and deny or devalue your claim at all costs to protect their bottom line. This is generally the one constant in injury claims.
If the insurance company learns about an LOP between you and your treating doctors, it will likely try to use it to discredit your physicians’ objectiveness in your case. They may try to argue that your doctor has a vested interest in your case resulting in a favorable outcome, which would likely guarantee full payment for their services.
However, our attorneys know how to counter this tactic. We understand that an LOP may be the best option in some cases.
What If I Lose My Case?
If you sign an LOP and you lose the case, you are legally obligated to pay for your medical treatment, as it was part of the initial agreement.
Need Help After an Accident? Call Us Today
Injury victims who are worried about getting the necessary medical treatment after an accident but feel they will be unable to pay for that treatment may have legal options.
Our experienced attorneys have a track record of obtaining compensation on behalf of our clients in South Bend and throughout Indiana.
We do not charge you anything up front or while we work on your case, and you do not owe us anything unless we win.
Call today to schedule your free consultation: (844) 678-1800