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South Florida Personal Injury – Child Cut By Glass – Expert Advice

March 14, 2010

The following is an expert answer given by South Florida Personal Injury Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Question:
While staying at a hotel in Bossier City, Louisiana, my 5 year old was walking around the hotel’s pool and was cut by a piece of glass. She sustained a 2 1/2 inch by 3/4 inch deep laceration to the bottom of her heel. I told the hotel managers and they taxied us to the ER where she had 16 stitches & was given crutches. She was very traumatized by the accident. My husband and I are trying to come up with a settlement offer, we have never been in this situation before. Her medical bills added up to $1,000.00. Please advise us on what to do.

Answer:
The answer to your questions depends on the law in your state for premises liability accidents.  I am a South Florida personal injury attorney specializing in car accidents claims, slip and falls claims, and workers compensation accidents, but I am not admitted in Louisiana.  Laws vary from state to state so what happens in Florida may not be the case in your state.  The little bit I remember about Louisiana laws is that they are sometimes very unique and unlike many common laws you see in other states.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an attorney that specializes in premises liability claims in your area.  They can advise you what the law is in your state for an incident such as the one your child had.

Generally, a landowner owes two duties to persons lawfully on the property – maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn persons on the property of dangerous conditions that the person may not be able to appreciate themselves.  Based upon your email, the question in your case is whether the hotel knew or should have known about the piece of glass near the pool.  Keep in mind that in most states, just because you are injured on another person’s property, you are not automatically entitled to recover damages.  You have to be able to show liability against the property owner or manager, here the hotel, under your state’s laws, before you can have a discussion about a settlement amount.

You can certainly submit a settlement demand on your own, but you will most likely do better by speaking with an accident injury lawyer.  In most states, if you are able to prove liability, i.e. that the hotel is responsible for the accident, you are able to recover money damages for past and future medical bills, and for pain and suffering which would include the physical and emotional trauma your daughter has experienced.  The $1,000 in medical bills would just be the starting point, but you should add on money for any future medical care, and money for pain and suffering, assuming you can recover for that in La.

Most attorneys specializing in premises liability claims handle the claims on a contingent basis,i.e. their attorneys fee is a percentage of any money they recover for you, and offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss whether you have a viable case.  You usually do not have to pay anything up front, and if there is no recovery, you do not owe anything.  So, you have nothing to lose by at least speaking with an accident lawyer.  Just by my own experience in South Florida personal injury claims, if I don’t think a person has a viable case, I will tell them right up front.  There is no point in creating false expectations and wasting your time and the attorney’s time. 

For more information about South Florida personal injury accidents, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today.

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