4 year old son hit in the face by door...

by Jen
(Leawood, KS)

My husband took my daughter and son to see Santa at a large chain retail store this last Christmas. While walking in the main entrance doors, that were open at the time they began to walk in, the doors suddenly swung closed.

The door hit my 4 year old son in the face. He was screaming and bleeding and so my husband immediately tried to calm him down so he could asses the situation. Not one person from the store came to help. When my husband got home he told me what happened and I called called to speak with the manager right away.

Our son now has a small scar on his face. It's small but he is still scared. The insurance company denied the claim because they said that the store was not negligent. These are insanely heavy doors and closed on my son out of nowhere.

How can we pursue this case? Is the store liable for my son's injury and facial scar? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "4 year old son hit in the face by door...":

Jen (Leawood, KS):

In most cases, when malls have in place doors which open, those doors open only when the persons who want to go through the doors are facing the doors on their way in or out of the mall. In almost all cases, the doors are not meant to swing backwards into the persons who are attempting to walk through the doors.

The insurance company may be denying the claim because they believe your son was standing in the way of the doors. In other words, your son may have been standing in the area where persons walk out, instead of in. If that was the case, than there is little basis for a claim of store negligence.

Let’s presume your son was not standing in the way of the doors. If that was the case, then you might have, on his behalf, a personal injury negligence claim against the mall owners.

If we presume the mall owners were negligent, the next step will be to determine the damages sustained by your son. From the facts you present, it appears you or your husband did not seek medical attention at anytime after the injury. To have a basis for an injury claim will require some form of damages, especially medical bills.

Let’s also presume that right after the injury, you and your husband didn't believe your son’s injury was serious enough to seek medical attention, but that you just now realized your son may have a permanent scar. If that is the case, you will need a medical opinion verifying the scar is permanent.

If the scar will be permanent, you will need legal representation. It would be virtually impossible for you to pursue the injury claim against the mall, especially as they have already denied the claim. At this point, only an attorney can successfully pursue the claim.

If the scar is permanent, take photographs of it. Then seek out several personal injury attorneys in your area. Make appointments with all off them. Fortunately, most personal injury attorneys will not charge for an initial office consultation.

Moreover, if an attorney accepts your case, you will not have to pay the attorney any legal fees or costs unless, and until the attorney succeeds in settling the claim, or winning it at trial.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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