Posts Tagged ‘personal injury accident’

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Razors Are Sharp! Personal Injury Protection Expert Advice

August 21, 2009

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

Subject: Old razor and toothbrush left in hotel bed

Question: My husband, daughter, and I stayed at a hotel in Wilmington, NC. My 3 year old pulled back the covers on our bed and crawled underneath them. She was hiding when I came out of the kitchen to see what she was doing. She was still under the covers, so I pulled them back to find her chewing on a used toothbrush (not ours) and trying to shave her leg with a razor (also not mine) I swiftly took the toothbrush away from her, put the cap back on the razor and put it in a bag. I took it downstairs and reported it to the front desk. I asked for clean sheets because I figured the bed had not been changed either. When I came back up stairs, I noticed that my little girl had a small cut on her ankle. What should I do? I didn’t notice blood before I took the razor and I can’t be certain she was cut. The baby doctor said there aren’t a whole lot of tests that can be run immediately but she was given antibiotics.  I have tried to contact the hotel but have gotten no response. What should I do?

Answer: The answer to your questions depends on the law in NC for premises liability claims. I specialize in Florida personal injury protection claims such as car accidents, slip and fall cases, and work accidents.  However, laws vary from state to state so what happens in a Florida personal injury protection case may not be the same in NC.

The best advice I can give you is do speak with an attorney about your personal injury protection claim.  He can advise you what the law is in NC for an incident such as yours.  The primary question that I don’t know the answer to is whether you have a claim simply based upon the anxiety and uncertainty associated with what happened, or does there need to be a resulting sickness, infection, etc. before making a claim.  I am not trying to minimize what happened because it is pretty outrageous, but Florida has what is called the "impact rule" which in certain cases requires a person to actually suffer a physical injury, rather than just anxiety associated with an incident that occurred.

Generally, a hotel 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.  By the facts you have described, I would say the hotel absolutely breached these duties.

Most Florida accident and injury attorneys will see you for a free consultation to evaluate your case.  I am guessing lawyers in NC will do the same so you have nothing to lose by meeting with an attorney.  Additionally, the lawyer will know how best to pursue the personal injury protection claim, i.e. preserve evidence and witnesses, obtain insurance information, and move the claim forward.

For more information about personal injury protection, contact South Florida injury attorney Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at jmmlawyers.com, or email him today.

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Expert Answer: Personal Injury Protection Advice

January 25, 2009

Subject: Accident at Wal-Mart

Question: What Happened:  While shopping at Wal-Mart on December 17, 2008, I was involved in an accident at my local Wal-Mart. My wife and I were standing in the back toy aisle looking for last minute gifts for our daughter when an employee came bursting out of the back room without so much as a beep from his pallet jack or a quick look to see if anyone was there. Now I was standing towards the end of the aisle but by no means standing in the doorway to the backroom at the time, but still the door hit me in the back of the head and the buttocks. This itself I may have said something to
a manager about carelessness and then shrugged off. Unfortunately for me the employee’s carelessness extended beyond not looking where he was going. On top of the pre-packed pallet the employee was pulling he had thrown a number of boxes rather haphazardly. (Stacked way past the clearly marked "Do Not Stack Above This Point" mark on the top row of pre-packed boxes, resting at odd angles, etc…) Several of these boxes fell and struck me in succession in the lower back from the center of the back to the right side. The entire area went numb for a few minutes after the impact but by the time I got to the end of the next aisle on my way to the customer service desk the numbness was replaced by severe pain throughout my back that started at the impact area and spread from there and pain that I couldn’t explain started shooting down my legs.  I filled out an accident report and heard the manager call to security to save the footage from the door going in and out. I called my doctor and made an appointment for later that day. (About an hour later, good doc) The end result is that the impacts caused a disk just above my pelvis bone to swell and protrude between it’s vertebra. Being
pressed between the vertebra was causing it to swell which is putting pressure on the spinal column. That is what is causing all the pain and weakness. He put me on Roboxin (muscle relaxer) and Vicodin (pain killer) and I have been on both since. He has also sent me to physical therapy to fix the problem, I have another 5 weeks of that.   I have been out of work since the accident but fortunately I have been put on FML (Family Medical Leave) so my job will still be there when I get back. The scary part is that both my doctor and physical therapist have told me separately that I will never be fully healed from this. Physical therapy will get me as far as I can go but the exercises and stretches will need to be kept up with once I’m released from their care, but the damage that has been caused to the nerves by the impact and subsequent pressure will never heal and I can expect some amount of pain the rest of my life. (to a greater or lesser degree depending on how hard I push my back. I have also been told by both doctor and physical therapist that I will not be able to return to job and need to get retrained to do something that will keep off of my feet.  What should I expect or ask for?

Answer: Patrick, I can provide some suggestions for you to pursue regarding this area of personal injury protection.  However, as I do not represent you, or know whether you are currently represented by an attorney, please consult with an attorney in your area to get more details on what your legal rights may be.  My first suggestion to you is to speak with an attorney that specializes in personal injury protection cases as soon as possible.  I don’t know whether you have had any contact with Wal Mart since 12/17, but you need to make sure Wal Mart saves the security video which apparently was in the area.  A personal injury attorney, particularly one that has handled claims against Wal Mart before, will know exactly what to do to preserve the video.  However, unless they are asked to preserve the video, Wal Mart and many other stores, will destroy it after a certain period of time.  An attorney will also be able to answer your ultimate question, which is, what your options are at this point.  Your email doesn’t indicate where this happened.  I am located in Florida, so the laws in your state may be different.  However, generally a store such as Wal Mart owes a duty to its customers to maintain the store in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn customers of dangerous conditions that a customer might not be able to appreciate on their own.  By running a pallet jack through a set of doors with boxes piled too high, and with customers in the area, it is my opinion that Wal Mart has breached their duties owed to you as a customer. By hiring an attorney specializing in personal injury protection claims, you can move forward with attempting to recover damages you suffered in this claim.  In Florida, you would be allowed to pursue a claim for lost wages, loss of future earning capacity (if you are unable to return to your level of income because of your injuries), past and  future medical bills, and for pain and suffering, and loss of ability to enjoy your life.  You should also have a personal injury protection attorney check to see whether the Wal Mart in which you were injured has "Medical Payments" (MedPay) insurance coverage.  MedPay is a part of a general liability policy that will cover your out of pocket medical expenses.  I have handled several claims against Wal Mart and have found some stores have MedPay, and some do not.  You will need to write to Wal Mart and ask them whether they have this type of coverage.  Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.  

For more information about personal injury protection, contact South Florida injury attorney Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.

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