Drunk Friend Broke My Veneer...

by R

I went to happy hour with a friend who got drunk. I know she was drunk because less than an hour before the accident she tried to hug me but tackled me instead, falling on top of me. My backside hurt for days because a stair broke my fall.

At the bar an obnoxious guy tipped my glass, trying to make me drink faster. I told my friend how mad I was at that and she wanted to tell her boyfriend. He didn't understand what she was saying so unbeknownst to me she decided to demonstrate by slamming my glass into my front teeth, causing significant damage.

She wound up breaking a veneer on my front tooth. She seems reluctant to pay for my dental expenses to fix the tooth. Do I have a case if she won't pay (which doesn't make her much of a friend)? I have emails the night of the incident, explaining the injury to my dentist.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Drunk Friend Broke My Veneer...":

R (USA):

From the facts you present it appears you may have a personal injury case against your "friend". If she won't volunteer to pay your dental bills you can always consider filing a Small Claims lawsuit against her. You will have to pay a filing fee to do so. From the facts you present we can't tell which state you reside in. Each state has their own Small Claims Court filing fees. Some states leave the filing fees up to the counties or precincts in which the Small Claims Courts are situated.

The usual filing fees are between $70.00 to $100.00 dollars. If you decide to pursue a Small Claims case against your friend, stop by the Small Claims Court in the county or precinct in which you reside. There is usually a simple one page form for you to fill out.

On that form you will state exactly what happened and what the costs will be to reimburse you. Most Small Claims Courts also permit those filing the lawsuits to add an additional amount for pain and suffering. That amount can be up to the jurisdictional amount, or "limit" of the actual court.

Once you file the case the sheriff or constable will go out and serve your friend with a lawsuit. It is a shocking experience. Once she is served there is a good chance whatever amount of friendship you may have left with your friend will probably be gone.

Often when people are served with a lawsuit the first thing they want to do is settle the case. Hopefully that will happen with you.

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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