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LETTERS OF PROTECTION AND WHY YOU NEED ONE

Chad West Jan. 26, 2022

If you’ve been hurt in a car crash or slip and fall incident, obtaining medical care is one of the most important aspects of your physical recovery. If you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s negligence and plan to pursue any kind of financial recovery, you may be wondering who pays for your medical treatment and worried about medical bills. It’s completely reasonable to be concerned about the cost of your medical treatment, but we encourage our clients not to neglect their medical treatment.

Because medical treatment is essential to the long-term success of your case and your financial settlement, your medical provider and your Dallas personal injury attorney will agree on terms of you receiving treatment in a document called a letter of protection. In Texas as in most states, the defendant in your case does not have to pay your medical bills on an ongoing basis. The law stipulates that if an injured party is hurt because of someone else’s negligence, that party owes damages. Medical costs are usually the biggest part of financial damages a claimant will incur.

A letter of protection is a written agreement between your attorney, your medical provider and you the injured party. This agreement states that upon conclusion of your case, your medical provider and your legal team will receive payment for services provided. Unless an agreement is in place, medical providers usually expect payment as treatment is provided. Since neglecting treatment is one of the fastest ways to tank your personal injury case and ensure a low settlement offer, a letter of protection stipulating providers will be paid when settlement is reached is an absolute necessity.

We should note that not all medical providers are willing to enter into these types of agreements. However, at Chad West, PLLC, our legal team can refer you to a treatment provider skilled in providing care for victims of car wrecks and other personal injuries in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant and Denton Counties and beyond in North Texas.

Who needs a letter of protection? Honestly, not everyone needs one. If you have great medical insurance, you may be able to skip this step, and your medical insurance provider can seek reimbursement from the other party’s insurance company at the conclusion of your case, a process called subrogation. You need a letter of protection if:

  • You are not at-fault for the personal injury or

  • Your medical provider won’t provide treatment without payment, or you are uninsured.

  • Your health insurance provider won’t cover the cost treatment for a personal injury like a car wreck.

The benefits of a letter of protection are:

  • You can receive the medical treatment you need without worrying about immediate payment.

  • Your medical providers are assured they will receive payment for the services rendered at the conclusion of your case.

  • Your legal team may be able to negotiate with the medical provider to lower your medical bills.

  • Your medical provider will only seek payment directly from you if your case is unsuccessful.

Some individuals worry that a letter of protection makes them look desperate or greedy. Insurance companies sometimes argue that a letter of protection is suspicious or demonstrates that a claimant is just trying to get more money for their claim. Then the insurance companies turn around and argue that an injured party couldn’t have been that harmed if they didn’t seek immediate and ongoing medical treatment.

Insurance companies are NOTORIOUS for low-balling a settlement offers with personal injury claimants and will use any tactic they can think of to delay or reduce the amount of payment they owe. A letter of protection protects everyone, especially the injured party. When you’ve been hurt, you have to get better and medical treatment is an absolute necessity.

We also have drafted countless letters of protection for our clients to help them get the medical treatment they need. If obtaining medical treatment presents a financial burden to your recovery, you should seek legal counsel from a skilled personal injury attorney to help you navigate your next steps. Call us to discuss your case.

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