Broke Nose Walking into a Glass Door in a Public Building...

by Sam

As I was walking out of a building I hit my forehead and nose on a glass door and broke my nose, requiring 10 stitches. At the emergency room they took x-rays, gave me a script for pain killers, and sewed me up.

Do I have a personal injury case to get compensation for my medical bills? And if so what can I expect as a settlement? Thanks.

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ANSWER for "Broke Nose Walking into a Glass Door in a Public Building...":

Sam (USA):

You may have the basis of a personal injury case. There have been many successfully cases of persons like yourself who have walked through what they believed was an open door, but which in fact wasn't. Instead the "door" was entirely made of transparent that was cleaned so well so as to make it appear so transparent as to be "invisible".

Contact your city's Building Code Department. Ask them if there are any requirements for public buildings with glass doors for ingress and egress. You want to know the requirements the owners of the building have to place markings of some sort on an ingress or egress door so as to warn the public of the glass door's existence and possible danger.

Building Codes in most cities require commercial properties open to the public to clearly mark glass doors as a warning to the public, so people don't walk through the doors believing there wasn't any door there. Commercial buildings also must have "shatter-proof" glass installed in their building's ingress and egress doors.

Once you do some research, if you find the building's owners violated the statute requiring warnings on ingress and egress doors, you will have the genesis of case.

For settlement purposes, take your medical bills and multiply them by at least 3x. That amount should be enough to cover your actual medical bills, your out of pocket expenses such a prescription and over the counter medications, your lost wages during treatment and recovery periods, and finally, an amount for pain and suffering.

So, let's say your medical bills equaled $5,000 dollars. A reasonable settlement offer should be between $15 - $20,000 dollars.

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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Comments for Broke Nose Walking into a Glass Door in a Public Building...

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by: Law Guy

If you hit your head on the doorway because you were involved in any inappropriate action, like jumping, or otherwise "clowning" around, then you won't have much of a claim.

In the alternative if you were just too tall to be able to pass through the door without hitting your head you may have a claim against the building management and owners.

From the facts you present it appears your injuries weren't very serious. Ten stitches is not something to take lightly, but unless you can prove with documented and credible medical testimony that the stitches were so severe as to leave a permanent scar, then again your case won't be very strong.

Your medical bills should be directed to the building's management office. Tell then what happened and tell them you want to speak with someone in authority about compensation.

Your compensation, absent evidence of permanent scarring, won't be very much. Without evidence of scarring you should demand about 3 - 4 times the amount of your medical bills. Doing so is the normal amount of a personal injury settlement.

If you don't think that's fair you can always consider suing them. Because the facts you present don't mention in what state you reside it is impossible to tell you what the Small Claim's Court's jurisdictional, or "maximum amount" in your state is.

If you are not satisfied with the building management's offer to settle, check with your local state court system to find out the maximum amount you can sue for in Small Claims Court.

If you want to sue for a higher amount, you will have to rise to the next court level. Doing so will probably require the representation of a personal injury attorney. Although people can represent themselves "pro se" in these higher courts, most who try are "eaten alive" by corporate trial attorneys who specialize in representing building owners and management.

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