Medical Liens and Letters of Protection

Medical liens and letters of protection essentially guarantee the medical provider will get reimbursed for the treatment they provided you for any injuries you sustained in an accident. In some cases attorneys and medical providers use the term lien and letter of protection interchangeably; however, the only difference between the two is that a lien is filed with the county and a letter of protection is not. Liens and letters of protection only come into play if you are unable to pay for treatment at the time of service, either with PIP or your personal health insurance.

Medical Liens

A medical provider should get paid for any treatment they give out and filing a medical lien ensures this. If you’ve been in an accident and have hired an attorney, some medical providers will file a lien with the county if you do not have PIP or health insurance to pay for your treatment. These filed documents legally require payment if a personal injury settlement is reached.

It is your attorney’s duty to make sure they check for medical liens once your case is settled. If you have not hired an attorney, your best option is to work with your medical provider to come up with a payment plan so that you can pay down your debt.

Letters of Protection

These are usually sent from the medical provider directly to you or your attorney. Your medical provider may also request a letter of protection from your attorney, if you’ve hired one, to guarantee that if a settlement is reached that they will be reimbursed. Attorney signatures are required on these documents.

Though a letter of protection isn’t filed with the county, it doesn’t mean that you can ignore it. Like a medical lien, your attorney will keep track of any and all letters of protection to make sure that if a settlement is reached the medical provider is reimbursed.

Can I Get Rid of a Medical Lien?

Most times, no. However, an experienced car accident lawyer, like those at The Advocates, can oftentimes work with the medical provider to either reduce the amount that needs to be paid back or get rid of it altogether, though the latter is rare.

If you’ve been in an accident and are faced with surmounting medical bills due to not having PIP or health insurance, give us a call today and speak to one of our attorneys. We can keep track of medical liens and letters of protection and work with your medical providers to negotiate reductions when possible. Our primary office locations include Seattle, Spokane, Bellingham, Walla Walla, and Portland and our team is well equipped to assist no matter where you live in Washington or Oregon. Call today for a free consultation.