What Is a Letter of Protection in a Texas Personal Injury Case?
If you have suffered injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your medical expenses. But in the meantime, you might wonder how you will pay for medical treatment while waiting for your personal injury case to resolve. One option that might be available is a letter of protection (LOP).
What is a Letter of Protection?
A letter of protection is a legal document that ensures medical providers receive payment for their services out of the settlement or judgment of a personal injury case. LOPs guarantee they will be paid even if your claim remains unresolved for several months or even years.
Understanding what a letter of protection is in a Texas personal injury case and how it can be helpful may enable you to get the medical treatment you need while you await your financial recovery.
Why Would I Need a Letter of Protection in a Personal Injury Case?
An accident can leave you needing medical treatment through doctor’s visits, surgeries, physical therapy, and other interventions. Yet medical care can be expensive, and many accident victims do not have the funds on hand or enough health insurance to pay for the treatment they need. You can seek compensation for the accident-related losses someone else caused you. But you might need to wait several months or more for your payout. This is where a letter of protection can come in handy.
Are Letters of Protection Useful in a Personal Injury Case?
Letters of protection can be instrumental in personal injury cases. They allow injured individuals to receive the medical care they need without worrying about paying for it upfront. This arrangement can be crucial for those without health insurance or who cannot afford to pay for medical care out of pocket.
In addition to ensuring that medical providers receive payment for their services, letters of protection can also be helpful in settlement negotiations. When negotiating a settlement, your attorney will provide the at-fault party’s insurance company with copies of all injury-related medical bills and records. The letter serves as proof to the insurance company of the extent of your injuries and the care they have required.
What Are the Benefits of a Letter of Protection?
A letter of protection provides the following benefits in a Texas personal injury case:
- Provides access to medical care – A letter of protection promises your medical provider that they will receive payment from your eventual financial recovery for whatever services they provide. As such, it allows you to access the care you might not otherwise be able to afford.
- Improves your settlement offer – The more serious your injuries, the more compensation you deserve for non-economic losses like pain and suffering and lower quality of life. Insurers often use medical bills as a basis for determining these otherwise subjective losses. So the more substantial your bills, the more compensation you could potentially recover.
- Protects against debt collection – If you have to go into debt to pay your medical bills, you could also face actions from lenders trying to collect on that debt. A letter of protection can prevent this, as the medical provider will effectively front you the cost of your care without you having to go to a lender for money.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Write a Letter of Protection?
A personal injury lawyer must write and send your letter of protection. Personal injury cases can be complex, and there are specific legal issues the letter of protection needs to address. An attorney can negotiate the terms of the letter of protection with medical providers to ensure you receive the care you need.
To avoid potentially costly mistakes, you should seek help from a skilled attorney. The Houston personal injury attorneys at Fleming Law have extensive experience writing letters of protection. We have strong relationships with area healthcare providers and can work with them to help you get the medical attention you need.
Is There a Downside to Using a Letter of Protection?
While letters of protection are often helpful in personal injury cases, the potential negatives include the following:
- Possible lien – In some cases, medical providers may require a lien in addition to a letter of protection. With a lien in place, they will have a legal right to a portion of the settlement or judgment in your personal injury case and can take it without needing your consent.
- Limited medical provider options – Not all medical providers will accept letters of protection. That may limit your choice of healthcare providers.
- Risk of over-treatment – Because medical providers know they will receive payment from the settlement or judgment, there is a risk that they provide unnecessary and expensive medical care to increase your bill.
When weighing the benefits and risks of using a letter of protection in your Texas personal injury claim, you should speak with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the unique factors of your case.
Contact a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered injuries in an accident in Texas, working with the right personal injury lawyer can make a major difference in the outcome of your case. In addition to drafting a letter of protection on your behalf, the attorneys at Fleming Law can investigate the accident and negotiate with the insurance company for you. They can also file a lawsuit if the insurer will not agree to an adequate settlement covering all your injuries and losses.
Our Texas personal injury lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience securing significant insurance settlements and lawsuit verdicts. Our attorneys are ready to provide you with the personalized and attentive service you deserve. While we handle every aspect of your claim, we will also keep you informed about important developments in your case.
Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.
Nicholas P. Fleming focuses his practice in the area of civil litigation. As a skilled personal injury attorney, he handles a broad range of cases including motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, workplace accidents, and wrongful death. He is licensed to practice by the State Bar of Texas and is a graduate of the South Texas College of Law, earning his J.D. in 2017. Nicholas prides himself on providing personalized service to his clients, who are often facing extremely stressful situations.