What is an Oregon Letter of Protection?
Posted on March 25, 2021 in Portland Personal Injury Lawyer
A letter of protection (LOP) is often an integral part of ensuring that an injury victim receives the care that they need from medical professionals while they are awaiting a final settlement or jury verdict. A LOP is a letter that is sent from the attorney representing the injury victim to the medical professionals treating the victim. This letter is essentially a guarantee that the medical professionals will be paid for the treatment that they render from any future lawsuit settlement or jury verdict the victim may receive. Here, we want to discuss the importance of a letter of protection and how you can go about getting a LOP for your particular injury claim.
What Does a Letter of Protection Do?
When somebody sustains an injury caused by the actions of another individual, business, or entity, an unfortunate reality is that the injury victim’s health insurance carrier may hesitate to pay the medical expenses related to the claim. They do this because they will inevitably point the finger at the at-fault party and say that the other party is responsible for covering the claim. Other parties in these cases could include drivers involved in a car accident, employers for work injury claims, property owners for premises liability cases, and product manufacturers for defective product cases.
This denial of coverage from the health insurer can leave the injury victim in a precarious situation, especially when it comes to receiving the medical care that they need right away. The injury victim’s health insurance carrier may have a point that another party should be responsible for paying the medical expenses, but this can leave the injury victim being unable to afford necessary treatment while they are waiting for compensation through an insurance settlement or a jury verdict.
A letter of protection can be written in these situations by the injury victim’s attorney to the medical professionals treating the injury victim. The letter will essentially guarantee that the medical provider will receive payment for services rendered from any eventual injury settlement or jury verdict.
How is a Letter of Protection Written?
A letter of protection will be written in a formal manner, and we like to stress that injury victims should not be the ones writing this letter themselves. Anytime someone has been injured due to the actions of somebody else, a Portland personal injury lawyer should be the one sending the LOP on their behalf. When medical providers receive a LOP from an attorney, they will take it much more seriously than a letter sent solely by the personal injury victim themselves. An attorney will understand the exact language that needs to be included inside the letter of protection.
The LOP written by the attorney to the medical provider will usually let the provider know that the insurance carrier has failed to take responsibility for the incident and that the attorney has been employed to represent the injury victim in the case. The letter will politely, but formally, request that the medical provider render medical care under the agreement that their services will be paid for from a future settlement or jury award.
Additionally, the LOP will also note that, should a settlement not be recovered in the case, the injury victim will remain responsible for the entire balance of the medical bills. Finally, the LOP will request that any future medical bills or letters of collection regarding the medical expenses be sent to the attorney and not the injury victim.