What is a Letter of Protection in Texas
Most attorneys and doctors that work together when representing injured patients and clients usually will not require private health insurance. Most of these types of cases are taken on a letter of protection. What this letter does essentially tell the doctor you’re going to treat this patient and the patient’s going to pay his bill out of his settlement.
A letter of protection is a document that is usually sent by a lawyer on a client’s behalf to a doctor or another medical professional. It basically states that the patient does not have adequate funding at the current time, but they are involved in a court case where the proceeds of the case will be used to satisfy the medical bill. The purpose of this letter is to offer the doctor some relief that the money he is owed will soon be paid in full. It also allows the doctor to stop bothering the patient for the outstanding payment
How a Letter of Protection ('LOP") Operates
A Letter of Protection is a legally binding contract between you, your legal representative, and your doctor or health care provider. The letter promises payment of all professional services rendered once your personal injury case has been successfully finalized.
In some situations, a Letter of Protection can be drafted to stop collection efforts on medical bills when private health insurance providers deny payment. For example, you were rear-ended by a negligent driver, sought treatment at the hospital, and now your health insurance refuses to pay, believing the at-fault party’s auto policy should front the costs. An LOP can delay debt collection efforts that can seriously lower your credit rating.
Letters of protection are very common in personal injury matters, as hospitals and medical professionals look for ways to ensure they will get paid in the event the patient’s private health insurance denies responsibility.
It’s worth noting that some medical providers create their own versions of a Letter of Protection that basically provides a lien against your injury claim. Be cautious and never sign any legal document before discussing it with your attorney.
Once your injury claim is settled or successfully tried before a jury, your attorney is legally obligated to pay off all outstanding medical bills with these funds. If a settlement is not recovered, or the case is lost at trial, you (the plaintiff) are wholly responsible for paying the medical bills.
Benefits of a Letter of Protection
A Letter of Protection can benefit victims of personal injury in a number of ways. For those who have no insurance, or capacity to pay for medical treatment after a car crash, this letter can stop the various penalties of having past-due medical bills.
This document lets you get necessary medical care immediately, even if you are unsure when your settlement will come through. It can stop collection agencies from harassing you, and prevent damage to your credit score, which may take years to correct.
An LOP also lets personal injury victims hold off for a settlement that is truly fair, rather than push for a quick payout because of financial strain.
A Letter of Protection can be a valuable tool for some plaintiffs, but you have got to be careful, as it’s akin to signing a blank check for ongoing medical expenses. In the end, the money will come out of your settlement or jury verdict.
Only a qualified attorney can issue an LOP on your behalf, and it’s a good idea to have a candid discussion to see if it’s a wise move in your particular case.
Learn more about LOP's from Rose Sanders Injury Law Firm
If you were injured in an accident due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another, you likely qualify for legal compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Contact Rose Sanders Injury Law Firm, PLLC to arrange a free case evaluation.
At Rose Sanders Injury Law, our experienced McAllen personal injury lawyers assist many different personal injury clients in getting the compensation they deserve. Our personal injury practice areas include:
- 18-Wheeler and trucking accidents
- Car accidents
- Bus accidents
- Drunk Driving accidents
- Uber and Lyft rideshare accidents
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist claims
- Motorcycle accident
- Industrial accidents
- Admiralty & Maritime accidents
- Wrongful death
- Defamation, i.e., Libel and Slander
Speak with an experienced Houston Personal Injury Lawyer about your circumstance and whether you may benefit from a Letter of Protection. We are a plaintiffs-only law firm that provides focused advocacy with no upfront legal fees.