Many personal injury cases involve medical treatment. Where medical care is involved, medical bills form your health insurance and health care provider are also a factor. When you are in the midst of a personal injury lawsuit, paying medical bills from your accident can be difficult. A letter of protection is one thing that could help you out in this situation. 

What is a Letter of Protection?

If you have suffered some kind of injury and need medical treatment, but you are also in the midst of legal litigations due to this injury, then you might come across the question, what is a letter of protection? 

A letter of protection is a legal document that can sometimes be used in personal injury cases. This letter can also be referred to as an LOP for short. This document is a legally binding contract agreement between the client, the client's attorney, and the client's doctor. The letter is a contract between all three of these parties that promises the client will pay for any medical treatment after the settlement case is finished. 

In a way, you could think of a letter of protection (LOP) as a promise of payment contract. It is a legal promise that you will pay your doctors for their services at a later date, and in this particular case, that later date is after your settlement case is resolved.

letter of protection definition

What is the Purpose of a Letter of Protection?

This kind of contract is set up in the hopes that the client will receive the settlement money they need once the case is over. This settlement money can then help the client pay for things like medical bills. 

Settlement cases can sometimes take a long time. Having this letter lets doctors know what is going on so the client doesn't get charged late fees for not paying their medical bills on time. This also helps keep these outstanding bills from going to debt collectors for being late. 

Pros and Cons of a Letter of Protection

There are many reasons it would be useful to get a letter of protection for your doctor. First of all, your doctor might not know that your injury is a part of a legal case and that you want to wait for settlement money to come in to pay your medical bills. Writing up a contract will help your doctor understand your situation better. This type of document can also provide a much-needed extra measure of personal injury protection while you go through this lawsuit. 

PRO: Protection From Collectors

A letter of protection also protects you from debt collectors or fees for paying your bill late. Some individuals might be able to make expensive medical payments now, but many others won't be able to afford those medical bills until after their settlement money comes. This document ensures that you will be able to wait until after you get that settlement money to have to pay those bills. 

PRO: Receive Medical Treatment Now 

If you have been injured in an accident, then you may need medical treatment as soon as possible. Don't wait to receive the medical care you need because you are worried about health insurance companies coming after you for money you don’t have right now. Pay the medical bills once you have your settlement money by getting a legally binding contract that allows you to wait for your settlement case to resolve first. 

PRO: No Rushed Personal Injury Case

Don't rush your personal injury case and potentially settle for less by settling early. Instead use things like a letter of protection for your doctor to allow you and your attorney to resolve your settlement case in the time it needs. The weight of medical bills can be a lot, but when you have a signed promise of payment for your doctor and health insurance company then you can feel free to think about medical bills later. 

CON: Not All Doctors Agree to an LOP

Not all doctors will agree to sign a letter of protection. If your doctor's office is familiar with the law firm where your personal injury attorney works, they might be more likely to agree to sign. But they are not required to do so. This means that a letter of protection is not always guaranteed, and in this case you will have to pay for any medical services rendered as payments are due. 

letter of protection pros and cons chart

In Conclusion,

As always, speak with your personal injury attorney to discuss whether a letter of protection might be right for you. There are many pros and cons of a letter of protection to consider. Whether you can get a letter of protection can also depend on the law firm you use, your health insurance company, and the health care provider you choose. But if you can get this legal contract, then an LOP can help protect you from expensive medical bills while you wait for your settlement.