Do I Need a Letter of Protection for My Personal Injury Case?
Letters of protection (LOPs) can offer a valuable solution to the challenges faced by victims involved in complex personal injury cases. Personal injury cases place victims who are often in physical pain under an immense amount of emotional stress by placing them in situations that can be financially catastrophic.
Think about it: you’ve been involved in a severe car accident, hired the best Houston car accident lawyer that you can, and now you just have to sit back and watch your lost wages, opportunities, and your medical bills pile up — all while trying to recover from your injuries.
In some situations, letters of protection can help to lessen this compounding stress. In this article, the Houston personal injury lawyers at Grimes & Fertitta will tell you all about LOPs, and whether or not you might need one for your personal injury case.
Of course, the final decision on your letter of protection should be decided between you and a trusted attorney. If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious accident and are concerned that you need a LOP, call Grimes & Fertitta today at (713) 224-7644 for a case evaluation.
What is a letter of protection?
First things first, a letter of protection is a legal document sent by your personal injury attorney to a medical provider that guarantees payment for necessary medical treatments from future lawsuit settlements or money otherwise awarded in a personal injury case.
A letter of protection establishes an agreement between you, your attorney, and a medical provider, in which the medical provider will provide services or care upfront and defer all medical bills until the resolution of the case.
Although your attorney is not responsible for this sum of money, they can essentially request that necessary medical treatment be provided because of an ongoing lawsuit — and can even argue that the receiving of said medical treatment is necessary for the case.
Is a letter of protection legally binding? Although LOPs are legally binding documents, insurance companies will often try to use their existence to discredit the medical providers as having a vested interest in your case and suggest that your attorneys and doctors have conspired on the matter. These kinds of spurious accusations are precisely why you need to work with an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney, whether you’re trying to sue the insurance company or an individual citizen.
Why do I need a letter of protection in Texas?
There are plenty of reasons why you would want a LOP in Texas, including but not limited to the following:
- Receive timely and necessary medical care. Victims involved in personal injury cases need to get quick and quality medical care to begin the recovery process, regardless of whether or not they can afford to pay for those expenses out-of-pocket.
- Pay no upfront costs and protect your finances. Why spend your own money on medical care that was caused by someone else? Other than keeping your resources safe and avoiding affecting your credit, using a LOP for medical care can make sure that your pending medical bills don’t go to a collections agency.
- Strengthen your case. The medical records, bills, and other documentation from medical providers can help your attorney strengthen your case, and getting the care you need immediately can ensure that the court can calculate a truly fair settlement.
- Reduce stress. Involvement in an accident and subsequent legal proceedings is an incredibly stressful process. You have enough to worry about. Working with a skilled attorney and drafting a LOP can make sure that you can focus your time and energy on the thing that matters most: recovery.
LOPs can get you access to the medical care that you need, help with the financial strain brought on by serious accidents, and even improve the outcome of your case. Are there any reasons why you wouldn’t want to get a letter of protection from an attorney for your personal injury case?
Downsides to getting a letter of protection from an attorney
Insurance company lawyers might argue that a doctor’s testimony is no longer impartial if they are owed funds because of services issued under a letter of protection. Additionally, if your attorney fails to secure the settlement that you expect for your injuries, you may be responsible for the medical costs incurred through the LOP.
In our opinion, medical care is not an option. A letter of protection is a way to get you the medical care that you need when you need it. It’s only natural to be concerned about the costs of the medical services being provided, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t receive treatment.
Although you cannot control your case’s outcome, you can control who you hire as your Houston personal injury lawyer. The better the lawyer, the better your chances are of getting the compensation you deserve, and the more you trust them, the less worried about it you will be.
Letter of protection example
The following is an example of what a LOP from your attorney to a doctor may look like.
ATTN: Billing Department
Date of Service Provided
Subject: Letter of Protection
Dear DOCTOR NAME,
Because my client was injured on account of the negligence of RESPONSIBLE PARTY NAME, and the relevant parties have yet to take financial responsibility for this accident, we request that you would accept this document as an agreement to protect your interest for medical care and services required by CLIENT NAME, by way of any settlement or compensation received from RESPONSIBLE PARTY NAME in the ongoing case.
Should we not recover the anticipated funds from RESPONSIBLE PARTY NAME, CLIENT NAME will be fully responsible for the outstanding balance for medical services rendered. We request that all communication regarding these medical bills be directed to the undersigned during the duration of this claim and that these bills not be sent to collection.
All the best,
Create your letter of protection with a trusted personal injury lawyer from Grimes & Fertitta
Having your attorney draft a letter of protection after suffering an injury can be a lifeline to the medical care that you desperately need, but there are a few considerations that must be made beforehand. The best way to ensure that you or a loved one gets the care and support you need after suffering an injury is to hire a trusted and accomplished personal injury attorney to fight by your side.
The attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta know how the insurance companies nickel and dime victims in their time of need because they used to work for them. But seeing people left out in the cold by the system that is supposed to support them convinced them to create a law firm that would help the Davids of the world take on Goliath.
From rear-end collisions and t-bone accidents to offshore accidents and plant explosions, if you’ve been injured due to another party’s negligence, you need to call the winning personal injury lawyers at Grimes & Fertitta. Call us at (713) 224-7644 or contact us online today for a case evaluation.
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