A letter of protection is a document that could save you a great deal of anxiety and frustration as you seek compensation for your injuries.
The St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Langdon & Emison have decades of experience helping clients obtain letters of protection and obtaining favorable outcomes. Our attorneys will fight on your behalf to help you get the money you deserve. To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call (866) 931-2115.
Letter of protection – The basics
A letter of protection (LOP) is a binding contract between you, your attorney, and your doctor. The letter guarantees medical treatment without upfront costs. Instead, your doctor will defer payment until you receive your settlement or verdict. This allows you to get the treatment you need without worrying about the bills while your case is pending.
You can only receive a LOP if you weren’t at fault for the accident that caused your injuries. If your settlement isn’t sufficient to cover all of those costs, you’ll still be responsible for paying your medical providers for the services they rendered.
Why a letter of protection is needed
LOPs are helpful in many situations, including:
- You don’t have health insurance coverage
- Your insurer is refusing to pay for the treatment you need
- Your out-of-pocket costs for the treatment are more than you can afford until you receive your settlement.
Here are two examples of when a LOP can be helpful.
A LOP can ensure you receive treatment while your insurance company fights with the at-fault party’s insurer over who’s going to pay. It can apply to just about any sort of personal injury case, including a slip-and-fall accident, a defective product injury, or almost anything else.
LOPs are most typically used in car accident cases. Many car (and health) insurance companies will refuse the “pay as you go” approach to taking care of medical bills. In some cases, they’ll expect a policyholder to make their own payment arrangements – even if their care will take months or years.
A LOP won’t relieve you of the responsibility of paying those bills, however, it will help you obtain the treatment you need in order to have the best possible chance of making a full recovery. Your payment for those treatments is simply delayed until your case has concluded.
Instances when a LOP can be used against a person
Although a LOP can provide you with peace of mind, it can also lead to consequences. For example, the insurance company may try to use it in an effort to discredit your doctor. They might try to argue that the doctor has a vested interest in your case, so whatever testimony they provide on your behalf isn’t credible. Our experienced attorneys have been very successful in defeating that tactic.
The role your attorney plays in talking to your doctor about a letter of protection
You can’t just type up your own LOP and send it to your doctor, and it’s unlikely that your doctor will agree to sign a LOP if you don’t have an attorney handling your case. Your attorney will need to draft it and send it on your behalf.
Some doctors might be hesitant to sign a LOP because they’ve been burned by them in the past, so it’s very important that you work with an attorney who has a reputation for ethical behavior.
Turn to Langdon & Emison
The St. Louis personal injury lawyers with Langdon & Emison have an excellent reputation in our community and are known to be ethical while still being zealous advocates for our clients. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us online or call (866) 931-2115.