If Igot injured while at work and the company will not cover my hospital bill, what shouldI do?

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If Igot injured while at work and the company will not cover my hospital bill, what shouldI do?

I’m an intern, so although I’m working I’m not an employee; I’m still actually a full-time student. Because I’m an intern the place I work for said they would not pay for anything and I called my school to see if they would cover my bill because I am technically still a student and they as well said they would not. Who should I look to, to cover my bill? I’m a non-paid intern and cannot even afford to pay a fraction of my hospital bill. I don’t know what to do.

Asked on June 15, 2011 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Joyce Sweinberg / Joyce J. Sweinberg

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

My colleague is correct.  If there was some sort of negligence which caused your injury, you may have recourse. Please feel free to contact me to discuss the specifics of the accident which caused your injury.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you were an unpaid intern (and still a student), you are most likely not covered by Worker's Compensation; that means that way of paying your medical costs is not available to you. However, if you were injured as a result of fault at the job--for  example, negligence or careless by another employee, badly maintained equipment or facilities, bad management or supervision, a violation of workplace health or safety rules, etc.--then you should be able to sue the employer to seek compensation; just because you are not eligible for Worker's Comp does not mean they have no duties or obligations to you.

It's also possible that if the internship was arranged through the school, the school *could* be liable if they knew or should have known of the dangers.

If the above is not the case, then you may need to consider bankruptcy as an option to discharge the debt.


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