Letters of Protection

After an accident, appropriate medical treatment may be very difficult to find.  Many primary doctors and care clinics do not offer post-accident services, even to current patients.  I have seen many of my own clients try to go to their usual medical clinics only to be turned away at the front desk because it is the clinic’s policy to refuse treatment for post-accident trauma. An injury attorney can help guide injured people to local health-care providers who are willing to provide post-accident care.Oftentimes, injury attorneys can also help coordinate treatment under a “Letter of Protection” that is issued from the attorney to the health care provider.  Providers who accept Letters of Protection agree to provide treatment for the accident-related injuries and postpone collection of their charges until the time the case settles.The benefit of a Letter of Protection is obvious for the injured person—they receive the care they need, when they need it, and ultimately the negligent party’s insurance is responsible for payment.Unfortunately, some attorneys have misused Letters of Protection and have left some local care providers with an unwillingness to accept these Letters any more.  One misuse comes in the form of the attorney withdrawing as counsel on a case after getting a provider to treat a client for a full course of treatment.  The provider is then left with a significant outstanding bill for a patient with no one fighting on his or her behalf.Letters of Protection are often a great benefit to injured people and health care providers.  When properly used and honored, Letters of Protection allow people to receive care that is often difficult to access or afford after an accident.  These Letters also allow providers to offer necessary care under the agreement that their financial interests will be protected by the attorney handling the case.

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