It’s no secret that medical care is expensive. When you are involved in an accident like a slip and fall or car accident, you need medical attention right away. Unfortunately, you might not always be able to pay for that care right away. While the at-fault party is supposed to pay for your medical bills after an accident, they don’t have to make those payments immediately. Instead, you may need to wait months or even years to get money from your legal case.
What happens when you can’t pay medical bills, and you’re waiting for money from the at-fault party? Will those bills just go to collections? Likely not—if your personal injury attorney takes action on your behalf to send a “letter of protection.”
A letter of protection is correspondence that your personal injury attorney drafts to send to the hospital so that you can get medical care while your case is pending. Although it’s drafted as a letter, is more than that. It is a legally binding document that indicates that the hospital will be paid from any money that you get out of the lawsuit. If you don’t collect anything from your claim, then you will be responsible for paying the medical costs out of pocket.
Why would I need a letter of protection?
Sometimes your health insurance will refuse to pay for medical care when they believe the at-fault person or entity should be paying for your medical expenses. But, the at-fault person may also dispute that they should have to pay for your treatment too. While these two insurance companies fight about this issue, you end up having to either wait for medical care because you can’t afford it or pay for the services yourself outright.
A letter of protection allows you to essentially pause any obligation you may have pay the hospital while you work through your legal case. It takes much of the pressure off while you focus on your legal case while also getting the medical help you need.
What if I can pay for my medical expenses after a car accident—should I?
It may not be a good idea to pay for your medical expenses even if you can afford it after your injury. In some situations, you and your doctor may not realize how much care or follow up treatment you may need after your accident. Waiting until you have fully recovered (or as much as you can) will allow you to more accurately determine how much your physical and mental injuries after an accident will cost.
Settling your case too quickly makes you run the risk of getting money that may not fully address all of your loses. There is no opportunity to go back to the insurance company and ask for more money if you settle—even if you realize that your injuries are going to be much more expensive than you first estimated.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer for Free
John Foy & Associates can write you a letter of protection if you need it. Don’t let the pressure of medical bills force you to settle for less than what your case is worth. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.