What’s a letter of protection and how can it be used in my personal injury case?
Personal Injury - October 3, 2023
A letter of protection (LOP) relates to a personal injury lawsuit. Your lawyer may send this letter to your doctor to guarantee payment for your medical treatment once your lawsuit is resolved. A Chicago personal injury lawyer can explain how an LOP works in detail and help you determine if it is in your best interests to send this letter to your doctor.
At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, we offer legal help to those involved in personal injury cases in Illinois. If you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence, please let us know. Our Chicago personal injury attorney can help you file a lawsuit, submit an LOP, and more.
What is a letter of protection?
A letter of protection for a personal injury case is an agreement between you, your attorney, and your doctor. It allows you to get medical treatment for your personal injury while you await a settlement in your case. Thanks to an attorney letter of protection, you can avoid past-due medical bills while you pursue your lawsuit.
What’s in the letter?
An attorney writes an LOP on their client’s behalf. In the letter, the lawyer explains that their client cannot cover the costs of their medical care but expects to recover compensation for their losses. The attorney also assures the doctor that their client’s outstanding medical costs will be deducted from what they receive from their settlement.
Is a letter of protection legally binding?
An LOP represents a legally binding contract between you, your lawyer, and your doctor. If you use an LOP, you’re agreeing to pay your doctor’s medical bills as soon as you get a settlement from your case. You’re also agreeing to pay your medical bills even if you don’t get a settlement.
Why would I need an LOP?
If you’ve been in an accident that resulted in an injury, you’ll need treatment. The Affordable Care Act has provided many Americans with insurance coverage, which can help them if they suffer an accident and injury. However, paying for medical care remains difficult for many people across the United States.
LOPs are viable options for people who don’t have insurance since they allow you to defer paying off your medical bills to a later time. They can also benefit people who have limited insurance and don’t have a lot of money available to pay their medical bills after an accident and injury. With an LOP, you can protect your credit score if you’ve been in an accident that causes an injury but can’t afford your treatment costs too.
What are the pros and cons of a letter of protection?
An LOP gives you the ability to get medical treatment for your personal injury while your litigation is ongoing. The letter ensures you can continue with your litigation, and if your case is successful, use the money from your settlement to pay off your medical debt. On top of that, you can temporarily forgo paying your medical bills without damaging your credit score.
Of course, an LOP can be risky. The legal system offers no guarantees, and there’s still a chance that your personal injury case will not be successful. If you do not get a settlement, you’re still responsible for paying back your medical debt, regardless of whether you have an LOP.
Also, an LOP may help the defendant build a case against you. For example, if your doctor agrees to the letter, the defendant’s attorney may argue that your doctor is biased. Therefore, the letter can be used to attack your doctor’s credibility in court.
How can I get a letter of protection?
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can help you get a letter of protection as part of your personal injury case. For more information or to request a free case consultation, please contact us online or call us at (800) 985-1819.