Unfortunately, a lack of health insurance significantly limits your ability to get much-needed accident-related treatment. This problem is compounded if you need surgery, such as spine surgery, shoulder surgery, or knee surgery. Though not a perfect route, there is a way to get you the medical help you need following an accident, even if you don’t have health insurance.
The very first coverage that comes into play in a car accident is Personal Injury Protection coverage, often referred to as PIP or no-fault coverage. This provides $10,000 of coverage. This may seem like a lot, but one visit to the emergency room can take a huge hit out of your PIP coverage. Once that coverage is gone, an individual’s health insurance should come in to play.
If you do not have health insurance but have a need for accident-related medical treatment beyond what is covered in PIP or no-fault coverage, there is a way to get the treatment you need under an agreement known as a Letter of Protection (“LOP”). The LOP is an agreement between you, your attorney, and your doctor. Your doctor agrees to perform the necessary treatment and hold the balance for his/her services until there is a recovery in your case. In exchange, you and your attorney agree to pay the doctor’s bill from the settlement proceeds.
The LOP should be used as a last resort because it is risky for all parties involved. The doctor runs the risk that he/she will not get paid for a very long time or, even worse, will never get paid at all. You, the patient, run the risk that you will have to pay the doctor “full dollar” for your medical treatment from the settlement proceeds. The LOP should not be entered into lightly or without consideration of some very important factors, such as the amount of available insurance coverage, the type of treatment recommended, the amount of accident-related medical already outstanding, and the like.
If you need help weighing your options following an accident, contact us. No matter how big or how small your case may be, Hancock Law can help you to receive the settlement you deserve.