Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law
Without Health Insurance You May Seek a Letter of Protection
When you suffer injuries in an accident and do not have insurance, you may wonder if there are any options for getting your medical bills covered. In most cases, accident victims need to begin the treatment immediately to increase the chance of a desirable outcome in their recovery.
If this sounds like your situation, you may want to learn more about a letter of protection. As a skilled personal injury attorney at Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, I have drafted numerous letters of protection for my clients. If you have been injured in an accident and cannot afford to pay for medical treatment, you need to seek out legal counsel. With law offices in Houston and Webster, I also serve accident victims in Pasadena, South Houston, Friendswood, Seabrook, League City, and elsewhere across Texas.
What Is a Letter of Protection?
A letter of protection is a document prepared and written by an injured party’s attorney guaranteeing that all of the medical expenses incurred by their client will be paid to the medical providers after a settlement is reached. Essentially, a letter of protection serves as a contract between the three parties: an injured party, their attorney, and the medical providers involved in the injured party’s medical care.
The letter stipulates that the victim’s attorney will pay the medical providers from the settlement before any amount of money goes to the injured party. The specific language used in letters of protection varies from one letter to another. However, some of the most common requirements for drafting a letter of protection include:
- A statement that the injured party is not at fault for the accident; and
- A statement that the health insurance provider refuses to cover the injured party’s medical bills or the party does not have any health insurance coverage
A letter of protection can be a valuable tool for receiving the necessary medical care when the injured party does not have health insurance or the insurer refuses to cover the medical expenses.
What If I Don’t Recover Damages?
When an attorney settles an injured party’s personal injury claim or obtains a judgment on their behalf in a lawsuit, the attorney will have an obligation to make sure that the medical providers are reimbursed for their medical bills. However, if the victim does not recover any damages in their personal injury case, the injured person will still be responsible for paying the medical bills incurred while receiving the medical care. If this happens, the medical providers in question have the right to pursue legal action to get the reimbursement.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of a Letter of Protection?
There are benefits and drawbacks to consider before signing a letter of protection with your attorney and medical providers. Some of the benefits of a letter of protection include:
- The provider will provide the necessary medical care immediately
- The provider cannot demand payment for the treatment until the personal injury case is resolved
- Your attorney will pay the provider directly from the settlement or judgment
Some drawbacks to consider before preparing a letter of protection are:
- The provider may charge higher medical bills due to the risk of non-payment
- The insurance company may use the letter against you to devalue your claim
- You will be responsible for paying the bills if your personal injury case is not successful
Medical providers do not have an obligation to agree to sign a letter of protection. That is why an injured party needs the assistance of an experienced attorney to negotiate with the providers and convince them to enter into the agreement.
Getting the Legal Guidance You Need
If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot afford medical care after an accident, consider speaking with an attorney to determine if you should proceed with preparing a letter of protection to begin or continue your treatment.content_gen
As a skilled personal injury attorney in Houston and Wester, Texas, I help clients draft agreements with medical providers, and I am prepared to tirelessly fight to get my clients the compensation they deserve. At Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, I also handle personal injury cases in Pasadena, South Houston, Kemah, Santa Fe, Clear Lake, Dickinson, Alvin, Bacliff, and anywhere else in the state. Call me today to schedule a free one-on-one consultation.