Visitor Question

Mailing Physical Evidence…

Submitted By: Chioma (United States)

I injured a tooth after biting into a piece of metal in a package of mixed nuts. The CEO of the company says that he wants to see the piece of metal although I’ve already sent him photos. His insurance company too at some point will want to see the metal.

Should I mail it to them? It is the only physical evidence that I have along with my doctor’s statement and my husband’s statement. What if they throw it away and then say that they lost it, or that I never sent it?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Chioma,

You should send the piece of metal to the insurance company. If you refuse to send it to them they will assuredly not compensate you for your injury. If you file a lawsuit they will have a right to see it during their pre-trial discovery.

Photograph it next to the daily newspaper so there will be an inarguable reference point. When you send it enclose a chronological narrative starting with an hour or so before you went to the restaurant and right through the injury to your tooth.

Ask your husband to write his own narrative as well. If anyone else was with you ask them to also write a narrative also.

You should finalize your narrative by enclosing your dentist’s bill and asking for a specific amount of money. In addition to your request for reimbursement for the dental bill you should ask for an additional amount for your inconvenience, or “mental anguish”. You should be realistic about that request. We suggest you multiply the dental bill by three. That would be a reasonable amount.

Although you did not include in your set of facts whether you contacted the manager of the restaurant when the injury occurred, we will presume you did. You might go back to the restaurant and ask the manager for a copy of the report she may have created. Don’t be surprised if she declines.

The more credible information you can include to support your case the better chance you will have of getting the insurance company to compensate you.

Once you’ve sent the piece of metal and supporting documents you will have to wait for the insurance company’s decision. You can be confident they will respond within a month or so. If they agree to pay the dental bill you should be satisfied. If they pay you an additional amount you should be ecstatic. If they decline to pay any amount you will have to decide whether to sue or walk away.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: July 19, 2011

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