Can I sue my cosmetology school for my ER bills and back pain?

by Natalie
(Laurel, MD)

Last Thursday I was at school near the shampoo bowls about to wash my client's hair. I started to walk to get the shampoo (hadn't turned the water on yet) and I fell, HARD. So immediately I started to panic and I noticed I hurt my left hip and my left toe. There weren't any caution signs and when I'd gone to inform the owner of the school that I'd fallen (by the way I'm 5 months pregnant and considered higher risk) she just nonchalantly said "oh you did?" and that's it.

So I left school to go to the closest clinic because at that point the adrenaline was wearing low. I was feeling my back hurting and my belly started cramping, so I was terrified. I went to the clinic and they said I needed a sonogram for the baby but they didn't have a sonogram machine.

So I went to my mother-in-law's house and that day there was a tornado warning in our area, so I waited it out. Then when my fiance got home we ended up going to the ER. The cramps had dulled down by that point but the back pain hadn't.

They checked on the baby because that was obviously my main concern, but they didn't evaluate my back. I left the ER and woke up the following morning with a neck pain, it felt like whiplash but I never went back to the ER for it. So as of today my back is still in a lot of pain, sometimes keeping me up at night, and the neck pain is slowly going away.

Do I have grounds to sue the school? How do I go about doing so? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I sue my cosmetology school for my ER bills and back pain? ":

Natalie (Laurel. MD):

Fortunately you and your baby haven't sustained any serious injuries. If you are concerned about possible injuries to your baby you must seek a medical evaluation immediately. At this point you don't have the grounds for a lawsuit. You may have the basis for an insurance claim to reimburse you for the cost of your trip to the clinic on the day you were injured. You may also have the basis for a claim for the cost of a sonogram.

If, after the sonogram there is evidence of injury to your baby, you may have an additional claim for "damages." This might include any future medical bills, out of pocket expenses for medications, any lost wages while you are under treatment and during your recovery, and an additional amount for your pain and suffering - also referred to as mental anguish or emotional distress.

You mentioned you fell. You also mentioned the water hadn't been turned on yet. To have a viable negligence claim there must be some evidence of negligence. Hopefully, all will turn out well for both you and your baby.

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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