A letter of protection is a legal document typically provided by a plaintiff’s attorney to a healthcare provider in a personal injury case. The letter of protection guarantees payment for medical services rendered to the plaintiff, even if the plaintiff’s case is not successful or a settlement is not reached. In other words, the letter of protection serves as a promise to the healthcare provider that they will be compensated for their services out of any future settlement or judgment obtained in the plaintiff’s case. The letter of protection is also known as a medical lien or a lien letter.
How a Letter of Protection Works:
Letters of protection work by providing a guarantee from a plaintiff’s attorney to a healthcare provider that payment for medical services will be made out of any settlement or judgment obtained in the underlying legal case. In other words, the attorney is essentially promising to pay the medical provider out of the proceeds of the case, rather than having the patient pay for the services upfront.
When a patient with a personal injury case needs medical treatment, they may not have the means to pay for the treatment out of pocket. A letter of protection allows the patient to receive necessary medical care without the immediate burden of payment, while also ensuring that the healthcare provider will be compensated once the legal case is resolved. If the case is successful, and the plaintiff receives a settlement or judgment, the attorney will typically pay the healthcare provider directly out of those funds. If the case is unsuccessful, however, the healthcare provider may not be paid at all, which is why healthcare providers may be hesitant to accept letters of protection without a guarantee of payment.
If you are considering using a letter of protection to cover your medical expenses, it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the process and ensure that your rights are protected. Your attorney can help you find healthcare providers who are willing to accept LOPs and negotiate the terms of the LOP with the provider to ensure that you receive the care you need while minimizing any potential risk to the provider.