Injuries and accidents are scary, and can often lead to weeks, months, or even years of hardships for the affected party. If you’re unsure of whether you’ve recently suffered a personal injury, this article can help.
In it, Erie Injury outlines seven main types of personal injuries. Keep reading to learn more about what a personal injury is and the types of cases that our lawyers can help you with.
What is a Personal Injury?
A personal injury is any kind of harm to a person’s body, emotional state, or reputation. Most commonly, personal injuries are based on negligence, the failure to act with a reasonable degree of prudence that another person in a similar situation may have exercised.
The plaintiff (the injured party) must prove that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff and that the defendant’s failure to follow that duty, often through a negligent act, caused the plaintiff to suffer a damage such as a personal injury.
Compensable damages for a personal injury claim may include:
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Physical injury
- Property damage
When harm is proved, the plaintiff is awarded a settlement directly proportional to the damage caused. The type of case may also impact how much compensation is allowed, so it’s important to understand the essentials of each personal injury case.
7 Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases can be brought from damages caused in various situations. If you’ve been injured, no matter the cause, contact a lawyer at Erie Injury today.
Keep in mind, the other party’s insurance company or defense team will immediately begin working to alleviate any fault from their client. Therefore, you must get quality representation on your side to protect yourself from further harm, financial or otherwise. The team at Erie Injury has experience handling personal injury cases pertaining to:
1. Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents
Immediately following a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, insurance adjusters will try to contact you to collect a recorded statement. It’s critical that you don’t answer their calls right away and instead get in touch with a trusted vehicle accident lawyer. They’ll work directly with the insurance companies to ensure you get fair compensation.
Particularly if you’ve been injured, there could be more coverage available than just vehicle repairs and medical bills. Your lawyer will help you determine the maximum amount you’re owed and will work diligently on your behalf to ensure adequate compensation.
2. ATV and Four-Wheeler Accidents
Though they can certainly make for a fun outdoor activity, ATV and four-wheeler accidents can have seriously damaging consequences. After an accident, it’s essential to preserve any evidence which could help prove negligence. Even a solo accident could be proof of a damaged or defective product, so you’ll want to contact a lawyer right away so they can help build a case in your favor.
3. Workers’ Compensation
If you’re injured at work in Pennsylvania, you’re entitled to have your medical bills and lost wages paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, you’ll want to hire a lawyer to ensure you get the full benefit. At Erie Injury, we understand that missing work due to an injury can leave you financially vulnerable. Therefore, we never charge a fee unless we recover your losses.
4. Wrongful Death
Losing a loved one is never easy. What’s more, grieving an untimely death can leave you feeling angry, frustrated, and confused. If someone you know and love was killed due to the negligence or recklessness of another person or company, then you’ve suffered a wrongful death.
While you’re working on getting the deceased’s affairs in order, the insurance companies will likely try to take advantage of your emotions by getting you to settle early and for a lesser amount than you’re entitled to. Under Pennsylvania law, you may be owed compensation for:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills
- Estate administrative expenses
- Lost earnings and wages
- Lost future earnings capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Consortium—compensation for the loss of association or companionship
- Punitive damages
Be sure to contact a lawyer immediately following the death of your loved one to ensure your losses are repaid in full.
5. Dog Bites
It’s hard not to love a cute and friendly dog, but a poorly-trained or negligently-supervised dog can lash out at adults and children, issuing a bite that can lead to serious injury. Many people don’t realize dog bites can be covered by the handler’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance and end up forfeiting their right to coverage for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To ensure your damages are paid out in full, you’ll need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
*Pro-Tip: Dog bites commonly occur when a friend or relative’s dog bites you or someone else in your family. Of course, most people don’t want to sue their loved ones, but it might be necessary to ensure you aren’t facing an undue burden as a result of someone else’s negligence. The lawyers at Erie Injury have experience with amicable negotiations and settlements pertaining to dog bites, so be sure to contact our office immediately if you need help settling a case quickly and with minimal additional heartache for those involved.
6. Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Slip-and-falls are one of the most commonly reported accidents and can often result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. You could be entitled to compensation if you slipped on a wet floor, lost balance on a broken handrail, or fell in an icy parking lot.
Preserving evidence of the accident is essential for proving your case, so be sure to contact a lawyer immediately following a slip-and-fall. They’ll offer assistance in gathering witness testimony, inspecting the property, searching for security cameras, and handling communication with the insurance company.
7. Product Liability
Dangerous and defective products injure thousands of Pennsylvanians every year. If you’ve been injured by a consumer good, contact a lawyer at Erie Injury immediately. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are required to offer safe products, and proving intentional recklessness, negligence, or harm is complex. Having a trusted lawyer by your side will make the whole process easier, so you can focus on recovering while they focus on compensating for your damages.
Choosing the Right Lawyer for Your Needs
Above all else, it’s essential to have a lawyer you can trust to ensure you’re being taken care of. At Erie Injury, we proudly represent clients from all walks of life to help recover damages from nearly every type of personal injury. If you’ve been injured, no matter the cause, contact our offices today for a free consultation. Additionally, please visit our blog to learn more about the kinds of cases we typically represent.
On-the-job injuries and illnesses are common. In Pennsylvania in 2020, 147,918 reportable injuries occurred in the workplace. However, only 8,801 people filed workers’ compensation claims to get the settlements they deserve.
If you’ve been injured at work in Pennsylvania, you’re potentially entitled to monetary coverage for medical bills and lost wages paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. But you’ll need to hire a lawyer to ensure you’re treated fairly and in accordance with the law.
Properly navigating a workers’ compensation claim can be challenging, but armed with the proper knowledge and a trusted lawyer, you can win your case and receive the payouts you’re entitled to. In this post, Erie Injury defines workers’ compensation and outlines the claim process so you can stay informed and win your case.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation, often referred to as workers’ comp, is a government-mandated program that benefits workers who have fallen ill or suffered injuries on the job. State laws demand that employees provide coverage for medical care, disability, rehabilitation services, and death benefits for those who have been injured or killed at work. Payouts are directly related to your injury’s affect on one’s ability to work and the worker’s wage rate at the time of the incident.
With most private-sector workplaces, a workers’ compensation claim can be settled, but only if you’ve hired a lawyer to help win your case. Your legal team can help ensure all medical bills are accounted for, lost wages are correctly calculated, and you aren’t strapped with any unforeseen expenses after an incident.
Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Claim Process
Though the severity of your injuries might determine how you move through the workers’ compensation claim process, there are a few best practices you should aim to follow. If you’ve been injured on the job, you’ll want to:
File an Incident Report
In Pennsylvania, injured workers must report the incident to their employers within 120 days. Failing to do so can result in a dismissal of your case, and you won’t be compensated for any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred as a result. Be sure to report all injuries to a supervisor as soon as you can safely do so.
Get Medical Treatment
Though it might be tempting to power through a harmful accident at work, you’re much better off seeking proper medical care to have your injuries assessed. Without medical records, it’s nearly impossible to prove you sustained any damage at all. Even if you filed an internal report with a supervisor, you’ll want a medical professional to corroborate your story with appropriate documentation. Doing so will build the evidence you need for full compensation.
Know Your Rights
When you file an internal report documenting the accident and the resulting injuries, your employer will likely send you to a specific doctor in your area that’s covered under the company’s insurance. While this is standard in the first 90 days after an injury, you have the right to see any doctor you wish after the initial 90-day period.
There are certain circumstances under which you might be eligible to choose your own doctor from the beginning. As such, you’ll want to connect with a lawyer to ensure you’re receiving the best treatment available and that your employer will pay for all resulting bills.
Talk with a Lawyer Before You Settle
Particularly if your employer believes your injury to be minor, they may try to settle your case internally, and fast. Don’t let a workers’ compensation claims adjuster talk you into settling before you speak with a lawyer. They’ll try to minimize your injuries to reduce the payout they’re responsible for, and, as a result, you could wind up paying your medical expenses out-of-pocket and losing wages.
Depending on your age and the severity of your injuries, you might be considering filing for additional benefits such as Social Security Disability or Social Security Retirement. If this applies to you, contact a lawyer immediately. The timeline in which you file can seriously impact whether or not you receive compensation. A lawyer can ensure your case isn’t dismissed and your employer can’t claim a “voluntary withdraw” from the workforce.
Let a Lawyer Help You Settle
Workers’ compensation cases can be complicated, and if you don’t follow appropriate practices and maintain timely action, you could be risking serious financial loss. At Erie Injury, we’re well suited to help you navigate your claim and win your case. Contact our office today for a free consultation, or browse our library of resources to learn more about the legal process.
Law firms come in all sizes, practice types, and legal focuses. To ensure more effective representation, the attorneys at Bernard Stuczynski Barnett & Larger (Erie Injury) focus on personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security Disability cases.
From car accidents to product liability claims, we’re your go-to source when someone or something hurt you and you need representation. If you or a family member has suffered a personal injury, read on to learn more about Erie Injury’s services, the benefits of working with focused firm, and our core values.
About Bernard Stuczynski Barnett & Larger (ErieInjury.com)
Since 1985, we’ve been helping victims in Northwestern Pennsylvania seek compensation for their injuries. Our dedication to our clients has allowed our firm to solidify its place as a regional leader.
To ensure the best service and highest probability of recovery for our clients, we focus on only three case types: personal injuries, workers’ compensation, and Social Security Disability. The reason we chose these three areas is because injuries often overlap more than one of those case types. Rather than send clients to multiple attorneys, Erie Injury can handle it all in-house. While there are so many ways injuries may occur, here are some of the most frequent types of cases we work on:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
If it transports people or goods and hurts you or a loved one in the process, chances are good this case will fall under a motor vehicle/auto accident. At Erie Injury, we find compensation for people recovering from injuries caused by vehicles:
2.2 million people a year suffer from injuries related to car accidents. In Pennsylvania alone, there are more than 100,000 crashes a year. If you suspect another driver’s negligence caused your injuries, we strongly urge you to speak with a lawyer before speaking with a claims adjuster. Beyond typical vehicle collisions, Erie Injury frequently works on:
- Drunk driving accidents
- Uninsured & underinsured driver cases
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
There are few, if any, events in life more difficult than losing a loved one. When a family member dies because of a person or company’s negligence, recklessness, or carelessness, this situation is called a wrongful death. In the case of wrongful death, our attorneys will help your family get the compensation to which you are entitled under Pennsylvania law, which may include:
|– Estate administration expenses|
– Funeral expenses
– Loss of the family relationship
– Lost earnings and wages
|– Lost future earning capacity|
– Medical bills
– Pain and suffering
– Punitive damages
Please know that Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations typically requires you to file a wrongful death suit within two years of a family member’s death. Therefore, it’s essential to act quickly and hire an attorney who focuses on wrongful death cases.
If you’re injured at work in Pennsylvania, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier should pay for your medical bills and lost wages. Unfortunately, hiring a lawyer is often necessary to make sure you are compensated fairly. While it’s challenging to think about what to do after you’ve been injured, it’s vital that you:
- Report your work injury to your supervisor
- File an incident report within 120 days
- Receive medical treatment
- Document everything
- Find out how much your weekly benefits will be
- Find an attorney
Even if you’re currently receiving workman’s comp, it’s possible you’re being underpaid. If you’ve been injured on the job and you can’t go back, make sure you find representation.
Every year, millions of people are injured by dangerous and defective products. Whether these injuries occur at home or work, it’s critical to contact an experienced injury attorney. For more than 30 years, the experts at Erie Injury have been handling defective product litigation cases. From crushed limbs to severe burns, we’ve dealt with a wide range of cases.
Product liability cases can be highly complex. Moreover, manufacturers often spend exorbitant amounts of money paying their lawyers to prevent being held liable for any damages. For these reasons, it’s critical to find a seasoned attorney who fights for you.
Slip and Falls
Whether ice and snow or slippery floors caused you harm, Erie Injury is well-equipped to handle slip-and-fall accidents. Much like in an auto accident, it’s critical that you contact a lawyer before you speak to an insurance adjuster. Insurance companies will try to minimize payouts as much as possible and could use your statements against you.
In conjunction with slip-and-falls, we also handle trip-and-falls. These cases typically occur when someone trips and falls because of uneven sidewalks, broken pavement, or dangerous stairs.
To create a comprehensive case, we’ll review local and uniform building codes, hire engineers, and speak with witnesses who might have previously reported the dangerous condition to the owners of the premises.
Yes, they’re cute, but they can also be a source of serious injury. Dog bites often result in lacerations that require stitches and could leave permanent scarring. Yet, many people don’t realize that you can make a claim against the dog owner via their Homeowner’s Insurance to cover your injuries.
However, in Pennsylvania, liability for dog bites is not guaranteed. You need to prove negligence. Therefore, it’s helpful to hire an attorney who focuses in these types of injuries.
Attorneys with Core Values
As industry, technology, and law become increasingly complex, the axiom “a jack-of-all-trades is a master of none” continues to ring true. With a precise focus, we’re optimized to provide our clients with unrivaled guidance and better outcomes.
We serve people of all races, genders, sexual identities, religious backgrounds, body types, and socioeconomic statuses. However, we do not help drunk drivers. Furthermore, we do not represent insurance companies. By focusing our services and following our core beliefs, we ensure the best possible case for clients.
At Erie Injury, we strive to help people who can’t afford to hire an attorney. To make good on this goal, our attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning we only charge a fee if we obtain a settlement or money judgment for our clients. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you earn a recovery for your injury, please reach out today.
Getting injured at work is stressful. For one, you’re hurt. Two, you’ll need to go through the paperwork-laden process of reporting your injury. And three, you’ll have to avoid the many pitfalls that can limit your workers’ compensation.
Whether you slipped on a wet floor or strained a muscle lifting a heavy item, you need to take the proper steps to ensure compensation for your injury. In this blog post, Erie Injury, your go-to lawyers for effective personal injury representation, outlines what actions you should and should not take when injured on the job.
A Quick Look at Workplace Injuries
Accidents occur on the job more often than you might think. The National Safety Council (NSC) stated a workplace injury occurs every seven seconds, which tallies up to a total of 88,500 individual injuries a week—that’s 4,600,000 injuries a year!
Of course, some industries such as emergency services, transportation, and manufacturing come with a higher risk of injury. Although proper training and guidance help minimize workplace injuries, accidents still happen. The most common injuries are:
- Overexertion (33.54%)
- Contact with objects and equipment (26%)
- Slips, trips, and falls (25.8%)
What You Should Do
When you’re injured on the job, it’s critical to follow specific guidelines in order to maintain and protect your workers’ compensation benefits. If you have an accident at work:
- Receive Immediate Medical Attention (And Keep Records)
If a person or object has severely injured you on the job, do not attempt to move as it can cause further injury and pain. Instead, call 911 to receive immediate medical care or have someone call for you. Follow your doctor’s orders after receiving medical attention and establish whether you have sustained any permanent injuries.
During this process, it is imperative that you keep documentation of your medical records, including receipts and bills. If you do not see a doctor, proving that you were injured is significantly more difficult. It may also create unwanted issues and processing delays with insurance companies.
Asking witnesses on the scene to help corroborate your injury claim will help you in your fight to receive proper compensation. You should ask for the witness’s name, address, and phone number so that the insurance agency may contact them if necessary.
- Report Your Injury
Once you have received medical care, report your injury to your supervisor as soon as you are able. However, you should refrain from providing extraneous details regarding your physical health and mental/emotional state. Often, because we’re scared and confused during the time of an injury, our actual account of the situation may be different than what happened in reality.
So, when contacting your supervisor, simply inform them of the incident, including the date, time, and exact location. If you can, keep a written account of this report.
Speak to an Attorney
After seeking medical attention and reporting your injury, consult and hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with your case. An attorney will ensure you receive the compensation you deserve by reviewing all of your documents as well as the laws that pertain to your incident.
What You Shouldn’t Do
When it comes to reporting a personal injury, certain actions you can take may hinder your claim. Here is what you shouldn’t do after getting hurt at work:
- Give a Recorded Statement
Insurance companies seek out recorded statements in order to find any faults in your claim. The problem is, people are often confused about what actually occurred when they were injured. For this reason, avoid giving a recorded statement until the facts are straightened out and you’ve talked to a lawyer and medical professional.
Furthermore, do not discuss the details of your accident with those who are not involved in your case. If you do, make sure to have a lawyer present. He/She/They will prevent you from falling into early settlement traps set by insurance companies.
- Sign a Medical Release
If an insurance company asks you to sign a medical release, your answer should be no. While pre-existing conditions can be a cause, oftentimes they have nothing to do with a workplace injury. If you sign a medical release form, insurance companies may attempt to argue that your work-related injury is due to your prior injury or pre-existing condition.
At the same time, hiding your injuries may harm your case. How you choose to disclose your prior injuries can make or break your case, which is why you should hire and speak to an attorney for guidance.
In short, insurance companies will use any information they find in your records to lower your settlement or deny your claim. You are not required to sign a blanket medical authorization form to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
- Accept Premature Settlements
Personal injury lawyers will see that you obtain a fair injury settlement, which is why it’s crucial to hire one. If you settle too early and without a lawyer, it is unlikely that you will get the compensation to which you are entitled. An experienced attorney knows what your case is worth and how to maximize your case’s value.
Your Personal Injury Lawyers
Whether you’ve been injured by work equipment or have fallen on the job, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The attorneys at Erie Injury will assist you in making the most out of your case by thoroughly investigating your claim at no cost to you. Call 814-452-6232 for a free consultation, or visit our contact page for more information!
If you’re suffering from a workplace injury, you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BSL), private industry employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses between 2018 and 2019.
The immediate steps you take following a workplace injury incident are critical. In this blog post, Bernard Stuczynski Barnett & Lager, your go-to attorneys for vehicle accidents, Workers’ Compensation claims, and filing for disability, provide a list of the three essential actions you should take when a personal injury occurs at the workplace.
1. Know the Signs (and Take Preventative Measures)
There are many indicators that you might be suffering from a workplace injury. There will likely be evidence suggesting you have sustained an injury during work, such as cuts from broken glass or bruises from moving equipment. According to the National Safety Council’s Top Work-Related Injury Causes, there are eight common causes for workplace injuries:
- Overexertion and bodily reaction (e.g., using tools on a construction site, loading trucks, typing on a keyboard while sitting at a desk); 275,590 injuries
- Falls, slips, and trips; 244,000 injuries
- Contact with objects and equipment; 229,410 injuries
- Transportation incidents; 49,430 injuries
- Violence and other injuries caused by persons or animals; 44,480 injuries
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments; 36,840 injuries
- Nonclassifiable; 6,770 injuries
- Fire and explosions; 1,700 injuries
Injuries that have occurred in the workplace may manifest in a number of different ways:
- Changes in physical abilities (decreased dexterity or speed, coordination stamina)
- Frequent trips to the doctor or hospital visits
- Inability to return to work for an extended period of time following release from medical care
- Changes in mental health (depression, anxiety, emotional distress, stress)
- Sudden change in sleeping patterns
While some incidents are unavoidable, there are several actions you can take to prevent injuries in the workplace. When operating equipment, always wear the recommended safety equipment and refrain from taking any shortcuts. You should also follow your employer’s dress code, stay alert, and ask for assistance from coworkers when it comes to more complicated tasks.
2. Report the Injury
In the event of an injury at work, report to your supervisor immediately. In most cases, employers will not be aware of the incident if they were not witness to it. What’s more, reporting to your supervisor is one of the first steps in obtaining workers’ compensation. The sooner you act, the more time you will have to pursue your claim and receive compensation.
Be aware that many states have a Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitation, which means there are individual deadlines for reporting your injury to your employer and for filing an injury claim. These deadlines are often fact-specific, so be sure to consult an attorney if you have a concern as to when you should file for workers’ compensation.
If your employer has withheld or destroyed documents related to your injury, contact us immediately to assist in obtaining copies of these forms for your records. The best course of action is to have a lawyer guide you through this process, as well as with any information and documentation regarding medical treatment.
3. Seek Medical Treatment
In severe cases, you may have no choice but to seek medical attention before you are able to report your injury. In 2018, the BSL recorded that approximately 333,930 workplace injuries or illnesses resulted in an employee visiting a medical treatment facility.
Your health care provider will likely provide instructions for your treatment, but they may also include some form of physical therapy, medication, or medical equipment. Keep detailed records of your treatments and their costs to present them during a workers’ compensation claim. In addition to your medical records, save all documentation of lost wages or benefits and any other evidence that proves you were injured on the job. Most importantly, be sure to stick to your doctor’s restrictions to avoid reinjury or worsening of an existing injury.
Here’s what Workers’ Compensation generally covers:
- Income benefits
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Funeral expenses
- Death benefits
- Specific loss benefits (e.g. certain types of scarring and disfigurements, amputations, loss of use of certain body parts, hearing loss, et cetera)
Contact Erie Injury for Help
You may feel like you’re in shock after an accident occurs in your workplace, but the sooner you act, the more time you will have to obtain compensation for injuries. Our team of personal injury attorneys at Bernard Stuczynski Barnett & Lager are ready to help you fight for your rights. Call us today at 814-452-6232 for a free consultation or fill out our contact form!
In Pennsylvania, the Workers’ Compensation Act does not require a workers’ compensation insurance carrier to “pre-approve” payment of medical treatment, which includes prescription medications.
All too often our Erie, PA workers’ compensation attorneys have seen first-hand the frustration and despair an injured worker experiences when trying to have a work-related prescription filled at their local pharmacy. Customarily, when the local pharmacy receives a prescription that should be covered under a workers’ compensation claim, the first thing the pharmacy will do is call the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The pharmacy will only fill the prescription if the workers’ compensation adjuster confirms that it will, in fact, pay for the prescription, “pre-approving” the payment of the medical treatment.
As there is no requirement that an adjuster “pre-approve” payment of medical expenses, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier is well within its legal rights not to promise the pharmacy in advance to pay for a prescription before it has been properly billed by the pharmacy. If the pharmacy fails to obtain “pre-approval,” or is unable to even speak with the adjuster, it will not fill the prescription or will only do so if the injured worker pays for the prescription out of pocket and/or the prescription is billed through the injured worker’s personal health insurance, leaving injured workers without the medications they need.
In order to ensure that an injured worker has their prescriptions promptly filled and billed appropriately we recommend injured workers utilize pharmacy companies that specialize exclusively in filling prescriptions for injured workers. These pharmacy companies that specialize in filling workers’ compensation prescriptions do not typically have brick and mortar locations. They will instead have the prescriptions overnighted to your residence. If the prescriptions are time sensitive and having them overnighted to your residence is not acceptable these companies have relationships with brick-and-mortar pharmacies that will permit you to pick-up your prescription from that pharmacy.
Most importantly, these pharmacy companies know and understand appropriate billing procedures under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act. As such, these companies do not seek “pre-approval” before filling your work-related prescription, instead these companies will promptly fill your prescription and then bill the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
Who will fill my workers’ compensation prescriptions without pre-approval?
Although, there exists a number of pharmacy companies that specialize exclusively in filling prescriptions for injured workers, our office has worked extensively and have had good experiences with Injured Workers Pharmacy, LLC.
If you are having difficulty with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier not promptly filling or paying for your work-related injury prescriptions, contact our Erie, PA Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.
I received a letter from Optum. What do I do?
After you get medical treatment for an injury rather than a chronic illness, it’s not uncommon to receive a letter from a third-party subrogation company, such as Optum (or The Rawlings Company, Equian, First Recovery Group, etc.), on behalf of your health insurance company. Optum (or one of these other companies) is probably calling you to find out how you got hurt. If your injuries possibly give rise to a personal injury claim or a potential lawsuit (for example, a car accident, a work injury, a slip-and-fall accident, etc.), Optum wants to know, because it’s their job to find out if your health insurance company might have a right to be reimbursed out of your settlement. If you received a letter from Optum after a Pennsylvania car accident or personal injury, you should call our law firm immediately at 1-800-999-0750.
Should I reply to Optum’s letter or call them back?
Optum cannot make you sue somebody if you don’t want to sue them! That being said, you should still talk to a personal injury attorney before talking to Optum. You need to know your rights (and responsibilities) regarding this accident, your health insurance policy, your medical treatment, and your medical bills. Our personal injury law firm offers a free consultation that can be either over the phone or in person! Give us a call today at 814-452-6232.
DO NOT FORGET: If you were hurt because of someone else’s negligence, you should immediately give Optum’s letter to your attorney! If you have a lawyer, you should not be contacting Optum directly. You want your personal injury lawyer to know about Optum’s letter, because failure to properly consider your health insurance’s lien against your settlement could potentially have devastating consequences to both your case and your finances. The last thing you want is to settle your case for so little that you can’t pay back Optum, should they be entitled to some of the money!
If you were hurt in an accident but don’t have a lawyer, you should hire a personal injury attorney to contact Optum on your behalf. Our personal injury lawyers work on contingency and only get paid if we get you a financial recovery. We represent injured victims throughout Western Pennsylvania, from Pittsburgh, to Erie, and all the way to Bradford and Smethport.
What if I don’t want to sue the person who hurt me?
In Pennsylvania, Optum can’t make you sue somebody if you don’t want to sue them! That said, it is still a good idea to talk to a personal injury attorney before talking to Optum. You need to know your rights and responsibilities regarding this accident, your health insurance policy, your treatment, and your medical bills. Our law firm offers a free consultation that can be either over the phone or in person—you decide! Give us a call today at 814-452-6232.
I received a letter from The Rawlings Company. What do I do?
After you get medical treatment for an injury, it’s not uncommon to get a letter from a third-party subrogation company, like The Rawlings Company (or Equian, Optum, First Recovery Group, etc.), on behalf of your health insurance company. The Rawlings Company is most likely reaching out to you to discover out how you got hurt. If your injury possibly gives rise to a personal injury claim or a potential lawsuit (for example, a car accident, a work injury, a slip-and-fall accident, etc.), The Rawlings Company’s job is to find out, because your health insurance company might be legally entitled to reimbursement out of your personal injury settlement or verdict. If you received a letter from the Rawlings Company after a Pennsylvania car accident or personal injury, you should call our law firm immediately at 1-800-999-0750.
Should I respond to The Rawlings Company’s letter or call them back?
Whether or not you’re legally required to respond to The Rawlings Company after getting their letter is going to be written in your insurance policy with your health insurance company. In all likelihood, this is a document you probably never read. With that in mind, if you weren’t hurt in manner as to give rise to a compensable legal claim, you’re probably safe to call and let them know, at which point they should leave you alone.
If you were hurt in an accident that gives rise to any type of legal claim, you should immediately give The Rawlings Company’s letter to your attorney! If you already retained a lawyer, you should never contact The Rawlings Company directly. Additionally, you want your personal injury attorney to know about The Rawlings Company’s letter, because any failure to consider your health insurance’s lien against your settlement might have catastrophic consequences to both your case and your finances!
If you were hurt in an accident (at work, in a slip-and-fall, in a car, et cetera) but don’t have a lawyer, you should hire a personal injury attorney to contact The Rawlings Company on your behalf immediately. Our personal injury lawyers work on contingency and only get paid if we get you a financial recovery. We represent injury victims throughout Western Pennsylvania, from Pittsburgh, to Erie, and all the way to Bradford and Smethport! If you’re not from Pennsylvania, we might be able to help you find a local lawyer who can helo.
What if I don’t want to file a lawsuit against the person who caused my injury?
The Rawlings Company cannot force you to sue somebody that you don’t want to sue. However, it’s always a good idea to at least speak with a personal injury attorney before you talk to The Rawlings Company. You need to know your rights and responsibilities regarding this incident, your medical treatment, and your medical bills. Our law firm offers a free consultation that can be either over the phone or in person—you decide! Give us a call today at 814-452-6232.
We’re happy to announce that our own partner, Attorney Matthew Lager, returned to Penn State Law yesterday as a guest lecturer in the law school’s Workers’ Compensation course. Attorney Lager provided the students with a Claimant’s Attorney’s perspective on Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law, and the realities of representing injured workers. Attorney Lager delivered a similar lecture to Penn State Law students in 2017, and was happy to be invited back this year to deliver a presentation.
Are you an injured worker looking for legal help?
If you have been injured at work and are looking for an attorney to help you in your workers’ compensation claim, call 814-452-6232 to book a free consultation with Attorney Matt Lager. He’s happy to help and doesn’t charge any fee without a recovery.
Signing a Medical Authorization for the Insurance Company after an Accident
As Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers, our new clients frequently ask us if they must sign a medical authorization for the insurance company after a car accident, after a work injury, or after a slip-and-fall accident. Given the numerous types of insurance claims out there, there is no universal answer, which is why it is always best to call an attorney to discuss your rights before giving the insurance company what they want. Sometimes the insurance company is entitled to a medical release or authorization, and sometimes they’re just trying to pressure you to give them more than they’re permitted by law. If an insurance company is requesting that you sign an authorization for your private medical records, you should call our law firm at 1-800-999-0750 to speak with an attorney for free.
Medical Authorizations and Insurance Claims for Negligence (Car Accidents, Slip-and-falls, etc.)
In Pennsylvania, if you’re making an insurance claim for compensation, lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, et cetera, against someone else’s insurance company, you do not normally need to sign an authorization for the other insurance company to fish through your medical records to look for reasons not to pay your claim. That said, the insurance company does need relevant medical records to determine the extent of your injuries and fairly evaluate your claim. With this, there is a delicate balance that must be struck, which is why you should always hire a personal injury law firm to represent you in your case. Our lawyers front expenses for medical records (which can cost hundreds of dollars), review your records, and provide the insurance company with reasonable, relevant medical records to support your claim. When the insurance company fights for more and starts issuing subpoenas, we fight to protect your privacy. If an insurance company is requesting that you sign an authorization, you should call our law firm at 1-800-999-0750 to speak with an attorney for free. Not only will we protect your privacy, we’ll help you fight for a fair outcome.
Medical Authorizations and First-Party Insurance Claims (PIP, MedPay, UM/UIM Benefits)
In Pennsylvania, when you’re making a claim for your own insurance coverage, completely different rules might apply. In many insurance policies, individuals seeking their own first-party coverage (like Personal Injury Protection / PIP, Med Pay, Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Benefits) contractually agree to provide their insurance company with executed authorizations such that their own insurer can gather whatever records they deem “reasonable” and “necessary.” While this discretion isn’t infinite, it is extremely broad. Failure to comply, in some instances, can result in a denied claim or worse. If your own insurance company is requesting that you sign an authorization, you should call our law firm at 1-800-999-0750 to speak with an attorney for free. We’ll review your policy and make sure your rights are protected.
Medical Authorizations and Workers’ Compensation Claims
In Pennsylvania, after a work injury, it seems like everybody wants to comb through your medical records to blame your injury on something (or someone) else. Even without you signing an authorization, treatment paid by workers’ compensation is normally exempted from HIPAA, which permits your medical providers to give your work-accident-related medical records to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier along with your accident-related bills. This exemption, however, isn’t unlimited. You do NOT need to sign authorizations for Nurse Case Managers (and, if you have been contacted a nurse case manager, you should read this article and call us immediately) and workers’ compensation insurance carriers are not permitted to embark on fishing expeditions throughout your entire medical history. Such behavior is especially important to avoid, given the close relationship between the workers’ compensation carrier and your employer. Why should your boss get to know about your medical history? If a workers’ compensation insurance company is demanding that you sign an authorization, you should call our law firm at 1-800-999-0750 to speak with an attorney for free. We’ll help protect both your privacy and your claim.
What should you do?
Regardless of what’s going on, if you’ve been injured and are dealing with an insurance adjuster who is pressuring you to sign an authorization for the insurance company to gather your personal medical records, you need a lawyer now. Call our personal injury law firm at 1-800-999-0750 for a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.