What is an Oregon Letter of Protection?
Whenever a client is being represented by a lawyer, he or she may agree to use something known as a “Letter of Protection.” Basically, this is when the lawyer asks a medical provider or doctor to put off billing the client until their personal injury case is completed. Keep in mind that the Oregon Letter of Protection doesn’t make the lawyer liable for the medical bill, as it always remains an agreement between the doctor and patient.
When Should a Letter of Protection Be Used?
An Oregon Letter of Protection should only be used when it is authorized by the patient. You can always ask your lawyer to sign a form that will authorize him in return to issue a Letter or Protection on your behalf, should you not be able do to so. All that this would do is make you promise to pay your medical bills once you collect the proceeds from your personal injury settlement. Also note that if a patient doesn’t win a case or receive a settlement, he or she is still obligated to pay their medical bills.
Who Can Issue a Letter of Protection?
The only person who can issue an Oregon Letter of Protection is an attorney. The contract will essentially place a lien on a settlement, buying you enough time to pay your medical bills in full. The contract is also formed between the medical provider and the lawyer. If you don’t have an attorney then keep in mind that a medical provider cannot personally accept an Oregon Letter of Protection written by you. The letter assures the medical provider that the law firm will oversee the distribution of the injury settlement, so that the medical provider will indeed receive their payment in full as soon as the case is settled.
Why Do You Need a Letter of Protection From a Lawyer?
There may be situations where billing sources that do not relate to an injury case may send a contract. The majority of lawyers will not agree to participate in an Oregon Letter of Protection that does not relate to a personal injury case. For example, a car payment or other billing that has nothing to do with medical care will often be turned down from attorneys. Let’s take a look at a common situation in which a Letter of Protection would probably be necessary:
A patient is in an automobile accident and has medical bills that exceed $10,000. If they don’t have health insurance or if their insurance won’t cover it, they’ll need to buy some time to determine how they are going to pay it. If they weren’t at fault in the accident then there is a good chance that the opposing party will cover their medical bills- usually in the form of a personal injury settlement. During this time however, an Oregon Letter of Protection can be signed in order to buy that patient more time to win the settlement and make the payment.
As you can see, an Oregon Letter of Protection is a promise of payment from a lawyer to a medical provider to ensure that each personal injury victim receives the treatment they need. It can come in a lot of handy when someone doesn’t have insurance and when they can’t make a medical payment right away.