Liens & Letters of Protection
Ideally, you receive compensation from your personal injury case to cover your medical bills. But, you might have medical bills due before you get the compensation. Because of this, you should send a letter of protection to your doctor. If you hire a lawyer, your lawyer can do this for you. Learn more about letters of protection and liens here.
What Is A Letter Of Protection?
A letter of protection is a form that you sign. It authorizes payment of your doctor’s bills at the end of your case. Also, it lets the doctor know that their fees remain protected. It also gives instruction to pay the medical bills at the conclusion of your case. This document explains to a doctor that you can’t pay your medical bills at the moment. Also, the document assures the doctor that they will receive full payment in the future. When you get compensation, the letter promises that you will pay the doctor.
The letter of protection, or “LOP” for short, is really not much of a letter at all. Instead, it is a contract between the injured party, the attorney and the doctor. This contract permits the injured party to continue getting medical treatment. In return, you promise to pay your medical bills in the future. This payment comes from the settlement or the monetary damages that you get. Your credit isn’t hurt in any way throughout this process.
Purpose Of The Letter Of Protection
The purpose of a letter of protection is twofold. First, the letter of protection helps relieve any concerns the doctor may have. A doctor might feel concerned about receiving payment for their services. Because of these concerns, the letter updates the doctor. It lets them know that the you have a personal injury case pending. Once you get compensation the doctor will be paid. Since the letter of protection comes from an attorney, the doctor can rest assured that they will get paid. The letter of protection lets the doctor know that their services haven’t been forgotten.
Second, the letter of protection helps relieve your stress. Maybe the doctor calls or sends letters to you. The doctor might remind you about the money you owe for their medical bills. The office might even demand payment immediately. This kind of contact would make anyone nervous. It would especially make someone on edge who has been wrongfully injured in an accident. A letter of protection will put a halt to this kind of contact with the doctor.
It is important to keep in mind that the letter of protection doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay the doctor. If you lose your personal injury lawsuit or don’t collect enough compensation, you still have to pay your medical bills. Also, the letter of protection doesn’t hold your attorney liable to pay your medical expenses. It just gives you more time to pay the bills.
In the event that you lose the case or don’t get the compensation you expected, your lawyer might try to negotiate with your doctor. Your lawyer might negotiate the amount you owe them. This can sometimes work out in your favor.
A lien is a court order placed on one person’s property. The property is used to pay a debt. In a personal injury case, a lien is the settlement award proposed by the at-fault party and their insurance company. In most cases, an insurance company puts a lien on the property. They do this on behalf of the at-fault party. If you want to pursue a lien as a settlement option, contact a lawyer to help you.