When you file a personal injury claim, you’re seeking compensation for the medical care you need following the incident, as well as other expenses that you incurred such as missed wages.
Following an accident, many people are worried about their mounting medical bills, and in some cases, their health or auto insurance isn’t paying for treatment in anticipation of the at-fault party paying the bills.
A letter of protection (LOP) shields you, a personal injury plaintiff, from collections actions filed by medical care providers while your case is pending.
Your attorney with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can draft an LOP on your behalf and negotiate with your treatment team for delayed payment in anticipation of a settlement.
The purpose of a letter of protection
The purpose of a letter of protection is twofold:
- Protect your credit from delinquent actions filed for unpaid medical bills
- Ensure that you still receive treatment and aren’t denied due to outstanding medical bills
Letters of protection are contracts between you and a medical care provider wherein you agree to pay your medical bills after the completion of your personal injury case.
Specifically, if you receive a settlement or jury award, they will be one of the first to receive payment. In turn, the medical care provider agrees to pause collections activity and continue treating you until you no longer need treatment or your case is resolved.
How can I obtain a letter of protection in Florida?
Your personal injury attorney can draft a letter of protection on your behalf. Dealing with the insurance companies and how your medical care is provided is part of the services they provide. Your lawyer negotiates an agreement with your treatment team, usually constructed to include the following:
- The medical care facility treats you without immediate payment for services
- You agree to seek compensation from a lawsuit to receive either a court award or a settlement
- You pay the medical care provider in full at the conclusion of your case
Your lawyer takes into account your current medical bills and any anticipated costs to properly value your claim. This ensures that the amount you request for economic damages is enough to cover all of your medical bills, mobility equipment, therapy, and medication as you recover so that you aren’t left with outstanding bills.
What are the legal consequences of not following the terms and conditions of a letter of protection?
You may not realize that your health or auto insurance might not cover injuries sustained in a personal injury accident because the insurer anticipates that the at-fault party will cover your bills and expenses.
Many medical care providers understand this and expect it from their patients’ insurance companies. Although no doctor is under obligation to comply with a letter of protection, many will consider your situation and extend credit.
The LOP is a binding contract between you and the medical care provider, promising that you’ll pay your bills from the settlement you receive. As part of the contract, you are responsible for paying the bills, even if you don’t have a successful outcome in your case.
Do you need help in a personal injury case?
Our skilled Florida personal injury lawyers work with clients across the state who’ve been injured in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence. We can help you file a suit for compensatory damages and issue a legal letter of protection for your medical bills while your case progresses.
Contact us today at (561) 655-1990 to schedule a free case review.