If your loved one is filing a personal injury lawsuit, you might realize that money is tight. Between lawyer fees, court fees, and medical bills, your family might have a hard time paying for everything. If this is the case, your loved one might be able to delay paying certain bills. This can happen until the case finishes and they receive compensation. If this sounds like it could work for family, ask the lawyer to send a letter of protection for your loved one.
Letter of Protection
If your loved one visited a doctor for their injuries, you should learn about a letter of protection. A letter of protection is a document that a lawyer sends to a doctor or a medical professional. The letter goes out on behalf of the lawyer’s client. This document explains that your loved one can’t pay their medical bills. The document assures the doctor that they will receive full payment eventually. The letter explains that the patient is involved in a court case to collect compensation. Once the victim receives the compensation, the doctor will receive payment.
The so-called letter of protection, or “LOP” for short, is not much of a letter at all. Instead, the document is a contract between the injured party, the attorney and the doctor. This contract permits the injured party to get medical treatment in exchange for their promise to pay their medical bills in the future. This payment is to come directly from the settlement. Or it can come from the monetary damages that the injured party receives. The injured party’s credit isn’t hurt in any way throughout this process.
Purpose of the Letter
The purpose of a letter of protection is twofold. First, the letter helps relieve any concerns the doctor has about getting paid. The letter updates the doctor about the circumstances. Since the letter comes from an attorney, the doctor is assured that they will get payment in the future. The letter of protection lets the doctor know that the medical bills aren’t forgotten.
Second, the letter of protection helps relieve stress for your loved one. Your loved one won’t have to worry about paying the bills now. They can focus on their case.
If your loved one loses the personal injury lawsuit they still have to pay the medical bills. This is also the case if they don’t get enough money to cover the bills. The letter of protection doesn’t release the obligation to pay medical bills. Also, the letter doesn’t hold the attorney liable to pay the client’s medical expenses.
In the event that your loved one loses the case or settles, their lawyer might negotiate with the doctor. The lawyer might try to have the medical bills reduced. Or, a payment plan could be set up. Sometimes, a deal can be worked out between a doctor and a patient.