A letter of protection is a document sent to a medical professional by your St. Louis auto accident lawyer in the name of the person injured in an accident.
This document is essentially a guarantee that the medical treatment will be paid from a future settlement. Even if the car accident victim has medical insurance, they may not accept it as a guarantee of payment for services, as the insurance company that holds the health policy may refuse to cover any treatment from car accidents or other events.
This is often the case in vehicle collisions, as by law all Missouri drivers must carry auto insurance, which will also cover medical expenses.
Do You Need a Letter of Protection?
In some cases, it may be the only way to access medical treatment. Standard health insurance plans often don’t cover any injuries sustained during work-related accidents or car collisions because they know there are other insurance companies that should take care of these cases.
For work-related injuries, you have worker’s comp, and for car accidents, you have auto insurance. However, when you’re the victim of a car accident and still don’t know how the outcome of your claim will turn out, medical professionals may require this extra guarantee that the services they provide will be paid for.
There’s also the issue of how auto insurance carriers actually pay for your medical bills. Usually, they may not cover the costs of your treatment as you are receiving it but may wait until your treatment is done and receive all your bills at once. Then, they often use the bulk of your bills to negotiate a settlement, which can also account for future medical expenses that are estimated, so there’s a chance they get to pay less than what you should get.
This is a problematic tactic for the doctor treating you since it’s possible to see a patient for months without a guarantee that these services can be paid for.
What Happens If You Don’t Win Your Case?
The letter of protection is a contractual agreement where your doctor accepts to treat you on credit and waits until the case is finalized to recover their money. However, if you do not win a case, you are still responsible for paying back the money, and the medical professional is entitled to recover it just like any other debt. A letter of protection does not mean you’re exempt from paying the bills.
This makes it even more important to work with a St. Louis car accident attorney to ensure your legal right to compensation is protected after an auto accident.
Speak With a St. Louis Car Injury Lawyer
Have you been the victim of a car accident? Reach out to a St. Louis car injury lawyer for a FREE case evaluation. An experienced attorney can help you work to recover the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
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