Should I hire a lawyer if my medical expenses from my personal injury will not be covered? 29 Answers as of July 09, 2013

I fell down a flight of stairs at a local county fair breaking my wrist and dislocating my elbow. They won't cover any medical expenses, because I was a volunteer. Should I hire a lawyer?

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The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
If you were an employee, you would likely be covered by worker's compensation insurance. Since you were just a volunteer you are not covered and that is why they are refusing to pay your medicals. You should probably consult with a personal injury attorney just to see if you have a case. From the facts you gave here it is impossible to tell. If you just fell because you are a klutz, then don't bother hiring an attorney. You are responsible for paying your own medical bills when you are at fault for your injury. If there was something about the stairs that was defective or in disrepair that caused you to fall, then you may have a case and you should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 9/19/2011
Patrick M Lamar Attorney
Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
It never hurts, but I do not have enough facts to discuss your claim.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 7/9/2013
Anderson & Bliven P.C.
Anderson & Bliven P.C. | Scott Anderson
I believe you need to check into two particular issues: 1. Most City/Counties pay for workers' compensation for official volunteer. You should consult a local attorney to find out if you are covered. 2. Since you indicated that they will not cover your medical expenses the only other way that I can see to recover medical expenses absent using your health insurance would be if there was any negligence such as defective surface that caused your fall. Many lawyers will provide some limited investigation to determine if there is liability as part of a case evaluation if you have very serious injuries. If you are not seriously injured such as broken bones or permanent damage it is unlikely your local attorney would want to take on the County/City of a matter such as this in Montana. For more information on slip and fall liability in Montana you can look at our website www.anderson-bliven.com. Go to the main page, click practice areas, click slip and fall in the left hand column.
Answer Applies to: Montana
Replied: 9/16/2011
The Unger Law Firm
The Unger Law Firm | Jeffrey Unger
I would strongly suggest you speak with an attorney. In Missouri, volunteers are not generally covered under the Workers' Compensation Act, however there may be civil liability in which the injured person can recover. An experienced personal injury attorney can review the facts of your case and determine whether or not you have a cause of action.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 9/15/2011
Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
Do you have private health insurance? If so, submit your bills there. Also, the facility that you fell at may have something called Medical Payments coverage or MedPay. If so, they may help you with your bills. Lastly, the event itself likely has insurance coverage so you may be able to submit your bills there too. Now, if there was a defective condition, i.e. something wrong with the stairs or the building, etc., that caused you to fall you need to seek a personal injury attorney. Otherwise, just try to get your bills paid and do your best to get healthy again.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/15/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    You should hire a lawyer to determine whether the property was maintained in the proper fashion. If not there may be a claim to be made against the property owner's insurance.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You have to prove your fall was as a result of someones fault to collect in a liability claim. If the fair people have medical payment coverage you will likely have your bills paid. If they don't have this coverage you have to deal with the fault issue.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    You would have to prove that there was some known defect of the stairs that caused you to fall like spillage, loose step, absent or defective railing, etc. All property owners are responsible for keeping their property in reasonably safe condition. If the property owner knew or should have known of the hazard and failed to take steps to correct it, even though there was time to do so, then they can be held legally liable for injuries that could foresee-ably result. Of course, evidence for all of those factors will be required.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Yes. If you were a volunteer and they contend workers comp won't cover you, then you have the right to bring a personal injury claim against them if you can show they were negligent, i.e. either doing something a reasonable person wouldn't do or failing to do something a reasonable person would do.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    You should at least consult an attorney to find out if you have legal recourse. They may be liable in worker's compensation despite the fact that you are a volunteer, or for negligence if there was a dangerous condition that caused the accident.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    If the owner/occupier of the premises was negligent in some way causing you to fall you may have a basis for making a claim. Yes, you should contact an attorney who is an expert in premises liability matters immediately to conduct an investigation to see if there is a legitimate claim present.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You should at least speak to one. I handle these kinds of matter regularly.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    A determination cannot be made as to whether you have a case or who is responsible for your medical bills unless we receive more information, Please note that in order for one to be responsible for your injuries you must show that they were the cause of your injuries. If you would like to discuss this matter further.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    I would definitely hire a lawyer and make sure that he engages an engineer familiar with local building codes to examine the stairs. I find violations all the time in stairs that otherwise look perfectly fine.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    They may be refusing to turn it in as a workers' compensation claim since you were a volunteer, but that wouldn't necessarily negate a personal injury lawsuit. It would be worth at least consulting an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Oliver Law Office
    Oliver Law Office | Jami Oliver
    Well, because your injuries are of a serious nature, you should consult with an attorney who practices personal injury in order to see if there is negligence on t he part of the premises owner and/or event planner. Your status as a volunteer may actually help your case.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    The Department of Labor and Industries should probably handle your claim.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Most personal injury lawyers will give you a free consultation, during which you can try to determine if you have a viable case. Being a volunteer would not necessarily prevent you from seeking compensation if the stairs were dangerous. You should talk to a local lawyer and he/she can help you decide if you want to go forward with a claim, and what your chances for success are likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Cantor & Burger
    Cantor & Burger | Gary K. Burger
    Liability depends on if someone else was at fault for your fall. If there is fault on another party you have a good claim. Your recovery is not contingent on whether you were a volunteer or not. You were not their employee so I don't think you have a workers compensation claim.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    Yes, as soon as possible. If this occurred in Oregon, you may have only 180 days to furnish the government authority with a Tort Claims Notice.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC | Christopher L. Thayer
    You should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to review whether you have a claim. In order to find the property owner liable, you will need to be able to establish that a dangerous condition existed that caused or contributed to your fall.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Volunteers are generally exempt from workers compensation protections. Find out the name of the insurer for the fair grounds buildings. Make a claim under "Medical Payments" coverage, if available. This type of coverage is for medical expenses only and usually is 5-10 thousand dollars. The coverage is for goodwill and does not require you to prove negligence by the fair grounds. I assume you do not have private health insurance. If you do, file your claim with them.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    No harm in discussing your options with a personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/24/2013
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    I always suggest that people contact a lawyer to explore their options in these sorts of situations. Despite receiving a denial, it may be that there is insurance coverage to assist you with your losses. Attorneys that handle these sorts of cases on a regular basis typically do not charge a consultation fee. You should speak to an attorney about your claim. Also, because your claim may be against a governmental entity, it is crucial that you speak to an attorney right away because there are very strict and short time lines for making these types of claims.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    You should speak with an attorney to see if you have any legal cause of action against the fair or against whoever was in charge of the stairs. There may be a shortened statute of limitations due to the potential defendant being a government agency, so do not delay.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/15/2011
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