Cut leg on metal bed frame...

by Debra
(San Francisco, CA)

My daughter was injured in a hotel room in California on a bed frame. Her foot got caught in bed skirt. She cut her calf (leg) on the metal bed frame which required an ER visit and 6 stitches. The hotel didn't even offer to pay for a cab to the ER.

When we returned from the hospital there were still bloody towels everywhere in our room. This all happened to my daughter on her 18th birthday. The bed skirt was to long for the bed and laid on the floor creating a hazard which my daughter tripped on. The hotel even charged me for the phone call the Manager made from my hotel room to an on-call doctor that advised us to go to the emergency room. I did ultimately have that charge removed from bill but it was very poor service.

Is the hotel responsible for the ER bill and anything else for what my daughter went through? I think they're at least partly responsible. Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Cut leg on metal bed frame...":

Debra (San Francisco, CA):

Yes, it appears the hotel would be liable for your daughter's medical bills, your out of pocket expenses for her medications, lost wages, cab fare, etc. The hotel should also be liable for your daughter's pain and suffering. From the facts you present there doesn't seem to be any evidence of contributory negligence. In other words, your daughter didn't do anything which would have contributed to her injury.

Before you go any further, be sure your daughter's leg will not be scarred. If so, her negligence claim against the hotel will be much more serious.

Contact the hotel's corporate headquarters. You can find the information online. Explain what happened and ask to have their insurance department contact you. Be sure to gather copies of your daughter's medical bills, including her physician's prognosis for recovery, especially any indication of possible scarring.

If there is a possibility of scarring your daughter should seek legal representation. A scarring injury is normally worth a great deal more in damages. Without legal representation, it is likely the hotel will not take your claim seriously. In the alternative, if there won't be any scarring you and your daughter can probably handle the claim yourself.

A traditional way to determine what amount to demand for medical bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering is to take the medical bills alone and multiply them by 2 - 3x. If there is scarring, the multiple should be much higher. So without scarring, if her medical bills amounted to $800.00, a fair amount to settle for would be about $2400.00. With scarring, the amount will be much higher.

Since laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions, you should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state (if you haven't already). Find an experienced local attorney to give you a free personal case review here.

Best of luck,

Judge Anthony

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