Unfortunately, some injured people do not have health insurance or available funds to pay for health care. If injured in a car accident, this is where PIP / no-fault insurance helps (up to $10,000 in medical bills will be paid regardless of fault). But it is quite easy for medical care to exceed 10K and doctors do not work for free.
Enter the Letter of Protection, commonly referred to as an LOP. An LOP is signed by both the patient/client and the attorney. An LOP is a lien against your case. Its similar to a mortgage on your house (which another kind of lien). If you sell the house, the bank gets money first – up to the amount of their lien. You would get whatever is left over.
The attorney signs the LOP confirming that they will pay the medical provider out of any recovery achieved by settlement or judgment.
The patient/client signs the LOP acknowledging this (i.e. the medical provider gets paid, before the client, out of any recovery); AND confirming that, even if there is no recovery, the client will STILL be held personally responsible for the medical bill(s) incurred. In other words, the client will remain on the hook.
Essentially, the medical provider is saying – We’ll wait until your case is resolved to get paid. But no matter the outcome of your claim or trial, we are owed money for the services we provide to you.