Daughter Injured in Play Area at a Birthday Party...

by Praveen
(Piscataway, NJ, USA)

This incident took place at a kids play area in Bridgewater, New Jersey. At a Birthday party, my Daughter (10 yrs) fell down from a hanging rod and had a very bad cut (abrasion) on the right palm, due to an improperly fixed part. There was also uneven dry paint on that rod which caused the cut during her slip.

We took her to emergency but she got no stitches. She was bed rested for a week and due to that she missed her Tera nova exams, since she was not in a position to hold the pen. We have also taken her to the pediatrician for a Tetanus injection.

What are my chances if I send a legal letter to the play area management claiming damages for the medical expenses, including the emergency room hospital bill, the pain my daughter went through and my lost pay for the days I took off to take care of my daughter? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Daughter Injured in Play Area at a Birthday Party...":

Praveen (Piscataway, NJ, USA):

There’s a good chance of being compensated for your daughter’s medical bills and pain and suffering. Although possible, there is not as good a chance of being reimbursed for the time you took off to care for your daughter.

There are no any laws in the State of New Jersey which require the manager or owners of “Kid’s Play Areas” to compensate those who might be injured while playing. Any compensation you can hope to receive will be as a result of two separate negotiated settlements or lawsuit against the play area’s management company and the owners of the land upon which the play area is located.

If you don’t know who owns the property go to your local Tax Collectors Office. There you’ll be able to find their name and address.

Send a certified letter to the management company and a separate one to the owners. In the letters describe what happened as your daughter was playing. Also enclose copies of her medical bills and copies of any out of pocket expenses you incurred. Those can include prescription and over the counter medications, hospital parking fees, and even a pro-rated amount for the gasoline you used.

Explain in the letter why your daughter was unable to take the Tera Nova Exams and what she will have to do to make them up. Also include a letter from your employer confirming the wages you lost while staying home to care for your daughter.

One way of calculating a compensation settlement amount is to take your daughter’s medical bills and multiply them by three. Doing so is meant to include your other damages without having to spell them out.

So if your daughter’s medical bills equaled $300, ask for a settlement amount of $900 from the management company and $900 form the property owners. That would be $1800 total. Multiplying by 3 is the high side of a settlement amount like this. You probably shouldn’t settle for anything less than 2 times the cost of her medical bills.

If you aren’t satisfied with their responses you can always sue them in Small Claims Court, or pursue legal action with the help of an attorney.

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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TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
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