When a person is injured in a car accident and does not have insurance, they often encounter many issues while filing a claim. One such tool plaintiffs will use in this instance is a letter of protection. In Florida, a letter of protection is used by a person without insurance to obtain medical services in exchange for part of their insurance settlement claim. In a recent Florida appellate court case, the court was tasked with deciding whether a jury could have determined the credibility of a doctor who testified under a letter of protection after he made conflicting statements. Ultimately, the court decided that there was enough information presented during the trial for a jury to be able to assess the doctor’s credibility.
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff suffered various injuries, most prominently her right knee, in a car accident. The driver who caused the accident did not have car insurance. Because of this, the plaintiff filed a claim against her uninsured motorist insurance, to cover the costs of the accident. The payment dispute was regarding a prior knee injury; the plaintiff had previously hurt her knee, which was rendered permanently injured after the accident. However, the plaintiff’s doctor claimed that the plaintiff had stopped feeling pain in her knee prior to the accident, while the defendant, as well as evidence from the plaintiff’s own testimony, indicated this was not true.
In this case, the plaintiff was given treatment under a letter of protection. While many are unaware of it, a letter of protection can be extremely beneficial to those without insurance. A letter of protection is a document sent by an attorney on a client’s behalf to a health-care provider when the client needs medical treatment but does not have insurance. Generally, the letter explains that the client is involved in a court case, and in exchange for deferred payment of medical services, the health-care provider will receive part of the settlement or award.
While letters of protection can be quite useful, the defendant will often try to cast doubt on the healthcare provider’s conclusions because of their financial incentives. Specifically, in this case, the defendant tried to argue the doctor had drawn incorrect medical conclusions that changed the affected outcome of the claim. While the doctor testified that the plaintiff had stated she had no more issues with her knee prior to the accident, the medical record, as well as the plaintiff’s own testimony, indicated the plaintiff was still having pain prior to the accident. The court ultimately determined that a jury could reasonably question the doctor’s credibility, even if only because he was providing services under a letter of protection.
Pursuing a claim against an insurance company and drafting a letter of protection can often be complex and time-consuming, especially after a person has been in a debilitating accident. Because of this, an individual with a potential claim should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help with the matter.
Have You Suffered Injuries in an Accident with an Uninsured or Underinsured Florida Driver?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Florida car accident, contact Friedman, Rodman, Frank & Estrada, Attorneys at Law. With extensive experience handling complex cases against insurance companies, our attorneys will work tirelessly on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. To discuss your legal matter and to schedule a free consultation, call us at 877-448-8585 today.