EMS, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0)image from bulliver’s photostream

Medical issues can easily morph into legal issues. What can I do if coverage is denied by my insurance company? How long do I have to report an injury and have it still be covered under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act? Where can I register a serious complaint against a hospital that treated me?

It’s hard enough to deal with your own illness or that of a family member without the added frustration and stress of trying to navigate a maze of insurance policy fine print, or ever changing state and federal healthcare regulations. The Allegheny County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division wants to help you to know your rights and what services are available to you so that you can make informed healthcare decisions. To that end, they’ve created The Legal Guide for Families in Medical Crisis. The website covers a myriad of issues in the following categories:

Healthcare providers

Decision-making

Paying for medical care

My job and my family

Legal issues

Preparing for terminal outcomes

Love and support (support groups)

Much in the guide is specific to Allegheny County. It’s the project of 16 young attorneys with specialties ranging from insurance law to family law. It’s a great first stop both to find answers to your current legal questions as well as to know what you should plan for in advance to ensure that your wishes are carried out. Additionally, there’s a glossary to help, for example, tell an ADS from a LTAC. (adult day service vs. long term acute care hospital). They’ve also created two .PDF files that contain all the information available on the website for easy downloading and printing (here and here).