Motel guest poked by hypodermic needle needs extensive blood tests...
(San Jose, California)
I was poked by a used hypodermic needle at a Motel 6 in San Jose California on May 2, 2016. It happened when I went to put my curling iron away up on top of the shelves they have in the bathroom. I brought the needle down to thee office after calling them first, and they refunded my $103.00 for the night.
I kept the invoice showing compensation but no reason was noted. I went to a doctor and the doctor confirmed my finger was puffy and inflamed. My blood was drawn for labs testing for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C and also for HIV. The Doctor wrote a few prescriptions, one for pain, one for antibiotics, as well as one for inflammation.
My insurance covered the visit, prescriptions, and lab work, and will cover the future visit when I have to go have the test run again in 3 months, and again in 6 months...some even recommend a third and final series of lab tests performed at the 9 month mark.
I have no immediate out of pocket cost, just pain and suffering, as well as the time and inconvenience invested. The worst is the extreme anxiety I have and will have for the next 6 months, possibly 9 months awaiting the results.
IS there anything I can do about this? Should I be able to get compensation even though my private health insurance covered the costs of the doctors visit and testing? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Motel guest poked by hypodermic needle needs extensive blood tests...":
Erin (San Jose, California):
The hotel owner was clearly and unequivocally negligent. We can only hope when you reported the incident, the hotel clerk created an incident report and that incident report was forwarded to the Motel 6 corporate office.
If so, they will have a copy of the report and would therefore have been put on constructive notice you were injured at the hotel on May 2nd, 2016.
Continue seeking medical treatment. Your health is paramount. You have a right to pursue Motel 6 for compensation for your medical bills, out of pocket expenses (for medications, bandages, costs of travel to treatment, etc.) lost wages while treating, and for your pain and suffering.
Because this is a potentially life-threatening injury, you would be best-served by seeking the counsel of several personal injury attorneys in your area. Most will not charge a fee for an initial office consultation. Bring along copies of your medical records and bills, receipts for out of pocket expenses, and any other documents related to the incident.
At this point, it would be best if you did not speak with the Motel 6 representatives until such time as you have consulted with a personal injury attorney. Once you've consulted with an attorney, you will have a better understanding of the strength and viability of your claim.
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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