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Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
(833) 997-1774

A letter of protection is a legally binding contract between you, your doctor, and your attorney. A letter of protection is an assurance that you will pay your medical bills once your claim is settled. Its objective is to help personal injury victims receive the medical treatments they need while ensuring that their bills are not sent to collections before they get the financial compensation they need to cover them. Although not every doctor will consent to delaying payment for services rendered, there are many who will if they know the lawyer handling the claim. The Portsmouth personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have 70 combined years of experience working with personal injury victims and negotiating with both doctors and insurance companies to maximize financial compensation for clients who were injured by another person’s negligence. Call us today to schedule your free consultation. 

When Should I Use a Letter of Protection?

Typically, a letter of protection is used when a personal injury victim requires medical treatment they are not able to pay for while waiting for their case to resolve. Letters of protection are most common among victims who do not have the means to cover the up-front costs of their medical treatment and those without health insurance. Since Virginia is an at-fault insurance state, many drivers do not have MedPay benefits or Personal Injury Protection on their own auto policy, which would help cover these expenses. 

Working with a Portsmouth car accident lawyer who knows how to negotiate a letter of protection could be advantageous when it comes to getting the medical care you need while safeguarding your assets and your credit score by preventing your medical bills from being sent to collections.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Letter of Protection? 

There are, like many other aspects of personal injury cases, pros and cons to using a letter of protection. Each case is unique, so it is crucial to review the details of your accident with a qualified lawyer who can give you more detailed information about using a letter of protection during your claim.  


The main benefit of a letter of protection, should your doctor agree to one, is that you will receive the diagnostic tests and medical care you need to recover as much as possible from your injuries. This includes:

  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • MRIs
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgeries

Although you will still have hospital bills, a letter of protection ensures that hefty late fines are not added onto the principal and that they do not get sent to a collection agency. Since most personal injury cases can take several months or even a year or longer to be resolved, it is essential to be proactive in avoiding financial troubles.


A major disadvantage to using a letter of protection in a personal injury claim is that the insurance carrier will almost certainly use it to impugn your doctor’s credibility in court. They will say that because he or she has a financial stake in your case, they will do what is necessary to ensure a favorable outcome. If the insurer is successful in convincing the jury that your doctor isn’t credible, you might lose your case and still be held responsible for your medical expenses.

All We Do Is Injury Law

The Portsmouth personal injury lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have nearly 40 decades of experience in handling personal injury cases. If you were harmed through no fault of your own, we can protect your rights, collect evidence, establish liability, and fight to get you maximum financial compensation. Using our extensive skills and training, we obtained a $1 million settlement for a man whose leg was crushed by a negligent forklift operator. To schedule a free case review, call (833) 997-1774 or fill out our online contact form. To better serve our clients from all over Virginia, we have offices in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Hampton, and Virginia Beach. 


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