Imagine driving to grab some groceries and having an out-of-control driver plough into you. Not only is your car totaled, but you’ve sustained serious injuries. Now imagine you have no insurance. How are you going to afford and receive the medical treatment you need while the at-fault party’s insurance company drags their feet during its investigation? It’s likely that you will need to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney and have them create for you a Letter of Protection.
Letters of Protection allow injured individuals to receive necessary care they otherwise would be unable to undergo. “If insurance companies did the right thing and paid out in a timely manner, there would be no need for Letters of Protection. But insurance companies don’t do the right thing. They are going to fight everything; it’s how they make their profits. They delay, they deny; and they defend against the client,” Brad says.
What is a Letter of Protection?
If a victim of negligence doesn’t have insurance, they may need to seek medical treatment before they are compensated by the other party’s insurance company. Often those bills are covered by a Letter of Protection. A Letter of Protection simply states that the letter-issuing law firm has agreed to protect a medical provider’s outstanding balance for treatment provided to the injured party and that upon resolution of the client’s personal injury case, that bill will be satisfied when the case finalizes. In return, the medical provider agrees to stop collection efforts until the case has been finalized.
Why Would I Need a Letter of Protection?
The creation of the Affordable Care Act under the Obama administration, in large part, was meant to decrease the number of uninsured individuals in the nation. While the number of uninsured individuals in this country has shrunk since the inception of the act, it has not disappeared, and occasionally the quality of the plans available in the open markets is debatable. Someone without quality health insurance might find themselves afraid to obtain the care that they need for fear that they will end up owing the bills out of pocket if something goes wrong with the case. Letters of Protection are for exactly this situation. They protect the patient from being sent to collections while the case is ongoing.
Do I Need a Letter of Protection After a Work Injury?
When you suffer an injury at work, your health insurance and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance might argue about who really pays your medical bills. When this occurs, attorneys will write a Letter of Protection to help you obtain the medical care needed even when insurers cannot agree on who is liable.
Is a Letter of Protection Legally Binding?
A Letter of Protection is a legally binding contract that exists between your personal injury attorney, you, and your healthcare provider. You will pay the amount from your settlement or your award once your case ends. If you do not win your case, you promise to still make those payments and repay the debt.
Can a Letter of Protection Be Used Against Me?
Problems may arise because of the perception that insurance companies attempt to create about Letters of Protection, the attorneys that provide them, and the doctors that accept them. Insurers may try and use Letters of Protection against you. They may claim that the medical professional is biased because of the Letter of Protection. However, your attorney shouldn’t let insurers use this tactic.
Why are Doctors Wary of Letters of Protection?
When a doctor accepts a Letter of Protection, they are taking a risk. The risk is that they won’t be paid anything for their work. Due to the volatile nature of personal injury cases, the extended period of time the medical provider will go without receiving payment, and the fact that in many cases there is not a recovery large enough to pay all of a patient’s medical bills on cases which involve Letters of Protection, doctors will often receive payments that greatly exceed insurance and Medicare rates in cases where the patient is fairly compensated for their injuries.
What Happens If I Don’t Win My Case?
If you don’t win your case, you are still responsible for the medical bills. The medical provider will pursue them, and you must pay this debt like any other debt. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide you with the legal skills and insight essential to making sure you are able to seek compensation for injuries.
Have You Been Injured In A Texas Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Bedford, Texas office directly at 817.440.3888 to schedule your free consultation. We help car accident victims throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington as well as all areas of Texas.
At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.