Car accidents not only inflict injuries, pain, and suffering on the victims, they also leave them with financial issues related to piling medical bills and expensive treatments. In the US, medical treatment is very often a source of stress for patients who don’t have medical insurance or the financial means to cover them.
This is why several systems are in place to protect victims of personal injuries and give them the needed medical treatment. In such cases, lawyers often work on a contingency fee, which is only paid when and if the case is won or settled out of court. Also, doctors can delay the payment of medical bills in personal injury cases, or accept being paid by your attorney.
Let’s see what a letter of protection is and what is its role in a personal injury case.
What Is a Letter of Protection?
A letter of protection often referred to as LOP, is a document, a contract that serves as a lien for medical services, in exchange for the promise to pay them fully out of a personal injury settlement or court order. In other words, a letter of protection is your official commitment to pay your medical bills later, when the insurance company pays you.
Be aware that a medical provider has the right to pursue you, even if you don’t win the trial or get the settlement amount you claimed.
Possible Issues that Arise from Using LOPs
Since a personal injury case is generally built on medical evidence, your medical provider might be tempted to increase the price of their medical service. They might also prescribe unnecessary treatment, which can be used against you by the insurance company. In some cases, medical providers have deals with car accident attorneys and put a profitable system in place, based on expensive treatments offered for car accident victims.
Insurance companies are not big fans of letters of protection for these reasons. They have dealt with such cases before, and they can claim that you are recieving unnecessarily expensive treatment. This could serve as grounds for a denial of your claim or a reduced settlement offer.
Since an LOP is a contract between you and the medical provider, you could be pursued by them later to pay the bills out of your own pocket. Be aware of any document you sign, and speak with your attorney about it if you feel something is not right.
St. Louis Auto Accident Attorneys
Letters of protection may be very good solutions for accident victims in states like Missouri, where medical bills are paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. To know all the details of the legal circumstances of your case, make sure you speak with a St. Louis car accident attorney who has experience with similar cases.
The insurance company might try to push back and lower or deny your claim because of a LOP. Your lawyer will know how to counter these tactics and fight to get you the compensation you are legally entitled to.