My son tripped on the carpet, fell and hit the corner, needing stitches...

by A
(Orlando, FL)

My 3 year-old son was playing in the hotel room with his sister and cousin. My wife and I were at dinner at the time and my kids were with my mother-in-law. We were almost done with dinner when we received a call from my mother-in-law, saying my son had tripped on the carpeting and hit his head on the corner of one of the walls.

The wall sliced his head open. We left dinner in a hurry and rushed to the hotel. We were about 20 minutes away, so we called the hotel lobby to see if they could give my son first-aid treatment while we drove back. When we arrived at the hotel, there was no one from the hotel present.

I took one look at my son and I knew he needed stitches, it was a deep wound. I immediately told my wife that we were going to the hospital. On the way out of the hotel room there was a security guard. He saw us and realized that we were the ones that had called.

I looked at him and noticed he had a clipboard in his hand (no first aid kit) and mentioned that we needed to fill out a report. I told him we didn’t have time for that, and asked where was the nearest hospital. He gave me directions and mentioned that when we got back from the hospital, give them a call so that they can fill out a report.

I don’t know in what world this guy was from. It was about 10pm and we were headed to an ER. There was no way we would be back at a reasonable time. My son ended with five stitches down his forehead.

The next day we called the front desk again and filled out the report.

Well, I'm definitely going to send the hotel the bill for the ER copay, but is there anything else we can do? I know my son is probably going to have a really bad scar for life. Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "My son tripped on the carpet, fell and hit the corner, needing stitches... ":

A (Orlando, FL):

Your son's injury was quite serious, but unfortunately the facts may not support a claim of hotel negligence. According to your presentation, your children were playing in the hotel room. The hotel and it's insurance company will argue hotel rooms are not meant for children to play in, but rather for adults and children to relax and ultimately sleep.

Moreover, you said your son tripped on the carpeting. But didn't say he tripped because the carpeting was tattered or damaged, so as to be hazardous. Rather, he tripped because he was running.

Under the facts you present, while it would have been the morally right thing to do, the hotel had no duty to provide first aid. Doing so may have implied they were negligent.

While it is entirely unfortunate your son may suffer a scar on his forehead, it is unlikely the hotel will agree to pay his medical bills, or agree to pay any other compensation. Their refusal to compensate will be based on their not having been negligent. However, it's worth a shot to speak with a local attorney.

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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