New Case Highlights the risk to lawyers with protected treatment accounts
May 4, 2018 | Stephen Pauwels | Posted in Key Decisions
No personal injury lawyer wants to give undertakings to protect a treatment account. Not surprisingly, no treatment provider wants to accept them! Unfortunately, this has long been common practice because it helps the client continue treatment when benefits run out, which in turn helps build their personal injury claim. In the absence of treatment, insurers happily draw an adverse inference that treatment is not necessary, and the client is "fine". This can have a detrimental impact on threshold, most especially in chronic pain cases.
An “undertaking” to pay a physiotherapist in Hamilton has resulted in a Small Claims Court award of punitive damages against a lawyer who neglected to honour that undertaking. The punitive damage award was based on the lawyer’s conduct when asked to pay, and not the undertaking itself, but the case serves to underscore a lawyer’s vulnerability when they “promise” to protect a treatment provider’s account and ultimately fail to do so.
Lawyers can avoid these headaches and the exposure that this case highlights by having treatments funded by a third party. BridgePoint Financial 's Treatment Financing service offers such a solution. BridgePoint can provide funding for your client's treatment either on a go forward basis or to cover existing accounts that require protection.
As a value-added service for the lawyers, BridgePoint will provide counsel with a financing commitment letter or “Term Sheet” to reflect the financing costs to be incurred. The Term Sheet serves as notice to the insurer that the client is assuming the cost of care at their own expense, fulfilling their duty to mitigate damages while establishing the client's commitment and need for the treatment. The Term Sheet additionally sets up a claim for recovery of the interest component and puts the insured on notice that the clock is ticking.
Why subject yourself to paying out of pocket pending settlement or promising to pay when BridgePoint can step in and save you the hassle? Applying is easy and the turnaround time is quick. Let us do the work for you.
We will even pay the treatment providers directly. Protect yourself and give your client an advantage. Ask us for help.
To learn more about treatment financing options contact us.