How to proceed after possible concussion from falling equipment?
Today a friend of mine was at a KFC restaurant in Maryland and was struck in the head with a drink machine cover that fell off of the wall above them. They are now on their way to the Emergency Room to receive medical attention.
What is the best course of action to proceed legally to receive compensation for medical expenses and a possible concussion? What should we do? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "How to proceed after possible concussion from falling equipment?":
It is likely the management of the KFC restaurant completed a form or "Incident Report" detailing the injury-event to your friend. That report should contain your friend's name and address, the time and date the injury occurred, the reason for the injury, witnesses information, and other pertinent information.
If your friend was seriously injured, he or she should seek the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney. To help you decide whether or not you need an attorney, read this article.
Serious injury claims often require filing a lawsuit, or at a minimum, the insurance company's realization a lawsuit may be filed.
Once filed, a lawsuit opens the door for an experienced attorney to discover (through depositions, subpoenas duces tecum, and other legal tactics) such events as previous incident reports of the malfunctioning soda machine, previous injury claims filed against that KFC store, employee witness statements, and much more.
These legal actions are almost impossible for a non-attorney to take. Insurance companies know this, and as a result, offer low settlements knowing the injured party has little or no leverage in negotiating.
The insurance companies know the injured victim can’t file a lawsuit by him or herself. As a result, at a certain point the insurance company will give a "final offer." This is code for "Take it or leave it." Once they do, you friend will have to take it or leave it.
In the event your friend was not seriously injured, he or she should contact the store and present the medical bills, asking that they be paid. The manager will turn the bills over to the store owner, or if the store is corporate owned, to the corporate office.
Thereafter your friend should receive a call from the owner, the corporate office, or an insurance company. At that time, your friend can require not only that her medical bills be paid, but also her out of pocket expenses, lost wages (if applicable), and an additional amount for her pain and suffering.
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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