What to do about a personal injury claim?

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What to do about a personal injury claim?

I tripped over a protruding rebar in a parking lot and was offered $10,000 by the building’s insurer. I broke my elbow and missed 1 week of work, returning with my arm in a sling. I’m an executive assistant. The insurance company offered me $10,000 for missing wages/vacation hours used ($1,600). If I accept, it’s possible my insurance companywould want to recoup what they’ve paid since they’ve covered all of my medical bills (but I’ve yet to hear anything from them). If I accept the $10,000, and my insurance company later comes after me for what they’ve paid, would they want the amount “billed by providers” or the discounted amount they “paid to providers”. Should I speak with a personal injury attorney? In Allegheny County, PA.

Asked on March 1, 2011 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Joyce Sweinberg / Joyce J. Sweinberg

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As my colleague has pointed out, there is not enough information in your post to value your case.  Any decent attorney would refuse to do so without access to all of the medical records as well as the specific facts of liability as well.  In addition to the factors he pointed out, there is also the question as to whether you have residual pain and how long ago the accident happened.  Further, the value of a case in Allegheny County might be different from the value of a similar case in Philadelphia County as the insurance companies track jury verdicts in assessing value.  As to your private insurer's lien, most likely there is one and it would be for the amount paid on your medical expenses.  This can also be negotiated to a lesser amount.  Best of luck to you.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Consultations in personal injury actions are generally free.  So yes, I would speak with a personal injury attorney and ask what the value of your case is really worth. But it is really soon to really know.  Do you have any residual deformity of the elbow? Loss of use?  Loss of motion?  Do you still have PT to go to?  As for the lien by the medical providers, you can try and compromise that and pay out a smaller amount.  They can only recoup what they paid out, which is generally the amount that they have on their pay out schedules. But ask the attorney this as well.  Good luck to you.


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