Many personal injury victims may not realize they are responsible for paying their medical expenses until they receive a settlement.
However, health insurers may refuse to pay for treatment and victims may be unable to foot the bill out of their own pocket. This may prevent victims from receiving necessary treatment or result in unpaid bills being sent to debt collectors. That is why injury victims may want to discuss a letter of protection with their attorney.
What is the Purpose of a Letter of Protection?
A letter of protection provides a written guarantee that a personal injury victim will pay the cost for medical treatment with the proceeds of any settlement that he or she receives. This allows the individual to receive necessary medical treatment.
Letters of protection may also be used to delay collections on outstanding medical bills for your treatment. For example, you may get a bill if a claim is submitted to your health insurer and they refuse to cover it. If you are unable to pay the bill or work out a payment plan with the health care provider, they may send the bill to a debt collector.
A letter of protection may also be used to prevent the unpaid bill from counting against your credit score while your attorney pursues an insurance settlement.
Pros and Cons of a Letter of Protection
One of the main advantages of a letter of protection is that it allows you to receive the medical care you need. This may help ensure you make the best recovery possible. You will not need to concern yourself with medical bills while your insurance claim is being processed.
However, the insurance company may try to use the letter of protection against you. Its representatives may claim your doctor is biased because the bill is still outstanding and he or she wants to be paid.
Accepting a letter of protection can be risky for medical providers because the settlement may not be large enough to cover their costs. A letter of protection may also decrease your bargaining power when trying to pay your medical bills because you may be agreeing to pay the full cost of the bill. Without a letter of protection, it may be possible to negotiate and settle the bill for less than the full amount.
What Should the Letter Look Like?
Letters of protection should be printed on an attorney’s letterhead and provide relevant information about your insurance claim and the accident, such as:
- Date of the accident
- Nature of the accident
- Date the medical service was provided
- Name of the at-fault party
- Name of the involved insurance company
- Amount of the bill
The letter may briefly describe the attorney’s role in your case, acknowledge the debt and state that the bill will be paid out of any settlement that you receive. It may also state that if you do not recover compensation for the accident, you will still be financially responsible for your medical bills.
Your lawyer may also ask the medical provider to forego collections and to direct any future bills or communications about the bills to the firm.
Contact a Licensed Lawyer for Help
If you were injured in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, contact the licensed Fort Worth car accident lawyers at Anderson & Cummings. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your potential legal options.
Call Anderson Cummings today at (817) 920-9000 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form.