Golf club head injury to 5 year old...

by Matt
(North Tampa, FL)

My 5 year old son was on the neighbor's property (driveway) and was hit in the head with a golf club, causing a gash above his left eye. The injury required an emergency room visit and stitches. The medical bill, so far, is $2000. He also has a nice scar on his forehead that's visible.

I have made several friendly attempts to recoup the cost of treatment from the neighbor and was ignored. What are some options for my next steps? Will I have to file a lawsuit against my neighbor? Should I get a lawyer? Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Golf club head injury to 5 year old...":

Matt (North Tampa, FL):

While the injury occurred on your neighbor's property, there is no evidence of negligence. Just because a person is injured on another's property does not automatically make the property owner liable.

When it comes to recovering compensation for an injury caused unintentionally by another, for liability to attach will normally require a showing of negligence. In this case, there is no apparent negligence.

If your neighbor refuses to give you his homeowners insurance information you can consider filing a lawsuit. However, to prevail in a negligence lawsuit will require proof of negligence.

Under the circumstances set forth in your question, it is likely you will not find an attorney to accept the case. In the alternative, if your neighbor or his or her minor children exhibited negligence when swinging the golf club, then you may have the basis of a viable personal injury claim.

In that case, if your neighbor continues to refuse to cooperate in turning the matter over to his or her homeowners insurance company, you can consider filing a lawsuit. If there is proof of negligence, you may not have to retain an attorney. Instead, you may consider filing your lawsuit in one of Florida's Small Claims Courts.

Florida Small Claims Courts have a jurisdiction over cases in amounts up to $5,000. This means if your losses are $5,000 or less, you may file your case in small claims court.

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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