Should you Accept the Insurance Company's First Offer?

Why I Do Not Sign Letters of Protection “LOP”

Posted by Guy DiMartino | Sep 26, 2013 | 0 Comments

Leesburg Florida personal injury lawyer talks about why he refuses to sign Letters of Protection of behalf of his clients.

What is a Letter of Protection

A letter of protection is a written agreement between the doctor, patient, and lawyer where the doctor's office will withhold collection activities for medical bills until the conclusion of the a personal injury case.  Letters of protection or LOPs are used for folks who do not have health insurance, have high deductibles or cannot afford co-insurance.

Why I Do Not Sign LOPs

Presenting a personal injury case to a jury is all about credibility.  The way the insurance company lawyers defend these cases is chip away at the client's, lawyer's and doctor's credibility.  My job when I represent a client is to protect them from things that may hurt their case and LOPs definitely hurt the case because they shift the focus away from what the defendant did to the relationship or bias between the doctor's and lawyer's office because of that piece of paper.  Let me give you an illustration from a recent lawsuit that was appealed.

Recent LOP Case

In Pack v. GEICO, the plaintiff's neurosurgeon treated the patient under an LOP. GEICO put the LOP into evidence and argued to the jury that the neurosurgeon was biased because he had skin in the game. He needed the plaintiff to recover money or he wouldn't get paid. The Fourth DCA said that using an LOP is proper in this situation:

Any party may attack the credibility of a witness by exposing a potential bias. § 90.608(2), Fla. Stat. (2009). Evidence pertaining to a letter of protection between a plaintiff and her treating physician, when that treating physician testifies as an expert on the plaintiff's behalf, is relevant to show potential bias. A jury is entitled to know the extent of the financial relationship between the party and the witness. . . . Therefore, the trial court properly admitted the evidence pertaining to the letter of protection because it was relevant to show a potential bias.

In the end, it is not in my client's best interest for me to sign an LOP because their case becomes about the LOP instead of their injuries, so as a general rule, I will not enter LOP agreements.

If you have any questions about a Leesburg Florida personal injury claim, you can always call me directly on my cell at (352) 267-9168 and I will attempt to answer your question.

About the Author

Guy DiMartino

I have loved helping people in need for almost three decades.  It has been my privilege to serve people as their pastor, chiropractor, and lawyer.  The current focus of my legal practice and life’s passion is helping the seriously injured receive complete compensation for their injuries. I am a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney. What that really means is that I am no stranger to the courtroom.  I have successfully tried and handled serious cases in state and federal courts.  My backgrounds in both law and chiropractic medicine have given me a unique perspective, extensive knowledge, and wide experience to serve those I represent. For years as a chiropractic physician, I treated my patients to alleviate their pain and suffering. Now as their lawyer, I fight to bring them financial compensation for their pain and suffering. During my years of service, I have handled many traumatic injury cases ranging from the traumatic amputation of a limb to brain and spinal cord injury.  I consider it an honor to serve you and your family. When a person entrusts me and I accept to represent them, I don’t take that relationship and responsibility lightly. My approach is that we work as a team. We are partners and our goal is the best outcome for you and your family with the highest level of communication throughout. I am always available by phone or email to discuss my potential representation of your injury case. I handle cases throughout Florida. Education: National University of Health Sciences – BS (1984), DC (1986) Valparaiso University School of Law – JD, summa cum laude (1999) Bar Admissions: Florida (2000), Indiana (1999), Illinois (2000, expired); US District Courts of Appeals (11th Circuit, 7th Circuit); United States District Courts: Southern and Middle Districts of Florida; Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; and District of Colorado. Certification:  Civil Trial, Florida Bar Guy DiMartino on Google+ – Circle Guy on Google+ Guy DiMartino on Google+


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

What makes me Unique?

What distinguishes my firm from the many injury firms throughout the state is my background as a chiropractic physician treating injured patients for 17 years. This gives you the benefit of having someone fighting for you that understands the nature and extent of your injuries and your road to recovery.

We are Partners

If you are my client, we are partners in your road to recovery. You will always have direct access to me to have your questions answered.

Copyright © 2017 Guy S. DiMartino DC, JD, PA

Areas That We Serve: Hammond, IN | Highland , IN | St. John, IN | Schererville, IN | Griffith, IN | Merrillville, IN | Hobart, IN | Portage, IN | Burns Harbor, IN | Ogden Dunes, IN | Gary, IN | South Haven, IN | Valparaiso, IN | Kouts, IN | Knox, IN | Hebron, IN | DeMotte, IN | Cedar Lake, IN | Crown Point, IN | Dyer, IN | Lowell, IN | Michigan City, IN | LaPorte, IN | Wanatah, IN | Westville, IN | Winamac, IN | South Bend, IN | Plymouth, IN | Elkhart, IN | Whiting, IN | Rolling Prairie, IN