Child Injured in a Department Store...
Me and my 1 year old son went to a large department store and I put him on the cart that they had at the store. I'm sure that I made sure that the seat belt was tight so he couldn't get out. So as I started to shop I turned my back for a few seconds, my son got out of the cart and fell.
His left back ear hit the edge of the stand, his ear started bleeding right away. I called some customers and they helped me get somebody from the store. They told us that they will pay for everything. But I don't have any idea on how to make a settlement. I'd appreciate any advice you can give on how to get a settlement from them. Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Child Injured in a Department Store...":
We certainly hope your son is doing better. You have already passed one hurdle. The store’s agreement to “pay for everything” is rare. With most large stores before any employee admits liability, and more so, assumes responsibility to pay any amount of money to settle, the store employee who made the blanket statement would have to secure some authority to do so.
Injuries to the ear can be quite serious. From the facts you present it is difficult to know if you took your son to the hospital emergency room, or to see a doctor. Presuming you did it would be important to secure a diagnosis and prognosis for your son.
The diagnosis would be a written account of your son’s visit with the doctor and his observations about the condition of your son and his ear. The prognosis would be his written account of the doctor’s opinion of what the future holds for your son and his injury. This includes, but is not limited to, the doctor’s opinion of the medical needs your son may need in the future. This would include future medical care, prescriptions, any surgery or follow up treatment your son might need, and any limitations your son might have as a direct result of the injury.
It would be very important for you to have remembered the name of the employee(s) from the store who accepted liability for the store. Then you should write a letter to the corporate headquarters for the store. Send the letter Certified RRR. In the letter be concise, and explain to them exactly what happened, which of their employees accepted liability on their behalf. Enclose in your letter copies of all medical bills and out of pocket expenses. Also enclose a copy of the Doctor’s Diagnosis and Prognosis.
Take all of the medical bills and multiply them by 3. Multiplying the medical bills by 3 is usually meant to cover any pain and suffering your son may have already suffered, and any he might in the future.
With that number add to it any out of pocket expenses such as prescriptions, bandages, and even the money you may spent on hospital or doctors’ parking lot fees. After adding those numbers you should arrive at the amount you would be asking to settle the case.
In the letter then tell them, in your own words, the same amount and state that the amount is what you believe to be a fair settlement amount.
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,
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