LETTER OF PROTECTION IN PERSONAL INJURY CASESLast updated on: October 28, 2022
When you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence and don’t have medical insurance or adequate funds to cover the cost of your medical treatment, a letter of protection might just be the solution you’re looking for.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an insurance company after being injured in an accident, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 547-0464 for a 100 percent free case evaluation with our personal injury attorneys.
WHAT IS A LETTER OF PROTECTION?
A letter of protection is a letter sent to a medical professional by a personal injury attorney representing the injured client. A letter of protection enables you to get the medical care you need if you don’t have money to pay the medical bills.
A letter of protection states that your attorney agrees to pay the provider for your medical treatment from the settlement you may receive before you have access to any of the financial reward.
In other words, a letter of protection is a guarantee made by your attorney to your health care provider(s) that they will be paid first if and when you settle or successfully litigate your claim.
Whether a medical provider will accept a letter of protection from your lawyer is at their own discretion. Be aware that not all providers, such as hospitals, will accept a letter of protection. In most cases, however, doctors may be more comfortable providing service to you knowing there is a letter of protection. Doctors may feel more comfortable knowing they are guaranteed payment once your claim has been handled.
Keep in mind, a letter of protection does not mean that the client isn’t responsible for the medical bills. If there is no financial recovery in a case, the bills still must be paid by the client.
DO I NEED A LETTER OF PROTECTION?
A letter of protection can be a useful tool when a client does not have the ability to pay his or her medical bills resulting from a personal injury.
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, but are incapable of paying your medical bills, discussing a letter of protection with your personal injury lawyer is a great idea. A letter of protection may allow you to get the medical care you need from the compensation you deserve.
There are two very important things to remember in regard to letters of protection:
- The attorney is not agreeing to pay your medical bills personally. He or she only agrees that if the case results in financial recovery, the medical provider will get paid a portion of that recovery before you get paid.
- The doctor is not agreeing to waive his or her bill if you do not receive financial recovery.
CAN A LETTER OF PROTECTION BE USED AGAINST ME?
Insurance companies may attempt to make the argument that a medical provider is potentially biased due to the existence of a letter of protection since it guarantees that payment will be made to them in the event of a financial reward.
However, this argument usually bears no teeth. Your attorney may be able to anticipate this tactic and prevent it from gaining any ground.
THE PROS AND CONS OF LETTERS OF PROTECTION
The main pro of using a letter of protection is that it may allow you to obtain medical attention in situations where you may otherwise be unable to get it. In addition, it can potentially make it easier to schedule medical appointments and can also protect your credit.
On the other hand, a letter of protection may result in higher medical costs because the medical professional is factoring in the risk of not being paid if your case is not successful. You may also be referred to locations that won’t accept your letter of protection, in which case you may need to find another avenue to get the medical care you need.
WHEN YOU MIGHT NEED A LETTER OF PROTECTION
A letter of protection may become necessary if you need medical care but don’t have the insurance coverage or cash to be able to pay for it.
In these situations, the only way to be able to secure the care you need is to guarantee the medical provider that when you ultimately receive compensation for your injuries, their bills get paid first before any other money is distributed.
INJURIES AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
There are a number of injuries that a car accident victim might experience. Some of the more common ones include:
Chest and Seat Belt Injuries
Chest injuries, like head injuries, can be merely superficial. This means just bruises or scrapes. However, internal damage can occur as well. Broken ribs are common in severe car accidents. Often, broken ribs can occur because the seat belt restricts during a crash. Injuries can also occur when the chest hits the steering wheel with tremendous force.
Stomach Injury; Internal Organ Injury and Internal Bleeding
Injuries to internal organs or internal bleeding can be caused by blunt force trauma, such as when you collide with a heavy object; or penetrative trauma, which is when a foreign object penetrates the body.
Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
Head injuries are perhaps the most disastrous of car accident injuries. Head injuries can occur when your head hits the window or steering wheel of your car. While a small cut or bruise is nothing to be too concerned about, closed head injuries like a concussion can lead to more devastating consequences such as permanent brain damage.
Injuries Due To Medical Negligence
In some circumstances, the negligence of a doctor or a nurse may actually cause an injury. These injuries can be new injuries that did not exist before, or the worsening of existing injuries if they were never effectively treated.
There are some workplaces, like oil fields or construction sites, that seem obviously dangerous. However, there is no such thing as a 100 percent safe workplace—even a mundane office setting can potentially result in serious work injuries.
HOW DOES A LETTER OF PROTECTION WORK?
A letter of protection is essentially a promise made to a healthcare provider by the victim and their attorney that at the conclusion of the personal injury case, any money received will be used to pay back the doctor or hospital providing care.
IS A LETTER OF PROTECTION LEGALLY BINDING?
Letters of protection, when properly drafted, are legally binding documents. Because of this, it is important to speak with a qualified attorney about what your rights and obligations are when it comes to letters of protection before drafting one.
HOW CAN I REQUEST A LETTER OF PROTECTION?
You may be able to talk about whether or not a letter of protection is necessary in your case with your attorney. If it is, then they should be able to draft a letter that is crafted to fit the needs of your situation.
SHOULD I HIRE A PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM TO WRITE MY LOP?
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury attorneys have helped thousands of victims get their lives back on track after suffering an injury. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest claim possible and pursue maximum compensation for hospital bills, future medical costs, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and much more.
Our firm also believes an injury victim should never have to worry about being able to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100 percent free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your case. That’s our No Win No Fee Guarantee.
If you have been injured in a personal injury, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 449-1160 to receive your free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.