What is a Letter of Protection in a Personal Injury Case?

2021-07-16 13:29:00
What is a letter of protection,letters of protection,letter of protection in personal injury cases

Person handwriting a letterA letter of protection, also known as an LOP, is a legally binding contract between your attorney, doctor, and you. The letter guarantees that you will pay your treating doctors for any services rendered to you once your injury claim is resolved. The purpose of an LOP is to help injury victims get the treatment they need while avoiding having their bills sent to collections before they can recover the compensation needed to pay them. 

While not all doctors agree to delay payment for their services, some may if they know the attorney who is handling the claim. Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers have decades of experience working with injury victims and negotiating with insurers and doctors alike to help maximize compensation for those who were injured due to someone else’s negligence.

Call us today to discuss your claim in a free consultation to see whether an LOP would be beneficial in your unique situation.

When Should I Consider Using a Letter of Protection?

Generally, the use of an LOP is recommended when an accident victim needs medical treatment he or she is unable to pay for while awaiting a settlement. This scenario is usually common with injury victims who do not have health insurance or the means to pay the out-of-pocket costs for medical treatment.

Remember that California is an at-fault state, which means most drivers do not carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or MedPay benefits on their own insurance policy, which would help pay for medical costs.

Having a lawyer by your side who understands how to negotiate an LOP may be beneficial to you in getting the treatment you need while protecting your credit score and assets by keeping healthcare bills from going to collections.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Letter of Protection?

Just like many aspects of settlement negotiations, there are pros and cons. Every case is different, so it is important to discuss the facts of your unique claim with a licensed attorney who may be able to provide a clearer picture about whether to use an LOP during your claim.

The Pros

When your treating doctors agree to negotiate one, the good thing about an LOP is that you may get the diagnostics and treatment you need for your injuries. This may include things like:

  • MRIs
  • X-Rays
  • CT Scans
  • Surgeries
  • Physical therapy
  • And more

While your medical bills pile up, your LOP guarantees that they do not get sent to collections or have steep late fees piled onto the principal. Since some injury cases may take months or even a year or more to resolve, it is important to take steps to avoid a financial crisis.  

The Cons

One of the biggest drawbacks of using an LOP in an injury claim is that the insurance company will likely try to use it to attack your treating doctors’ credibility in court. They will likely claim that your doctor has a vested interest in a favorable outcome in the case to guarantee he or she is paid for the services rendered to you. If the insurance company successfully convinces a jury that your doctor is not credible, you could lose the case and still be held liable for all the medical bills.

 Fortunately, our attorneys know how to fight back against the insurance companies when they try to attack witnesses’ credibility.

Call a Knowledgeable Attorney Today

If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence and wonder how to pay your medical bills while awaiting compensation, speak to our knowledgeable attorneys about negotiating a letter of protection with your doctors.

We offer a free consultation to discuss what legal options will work best for you during this difficult time. Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means we do not get paid unless you do, so your best interests become our priority during your case.

Call us today at (916) 777-7777 to schedule a free consultation.