Visitor Question

Do I have a valid personal injury case?

Submitted By: Angela (San Deigo, CA)

I was at a hotel in the bathroom. It was an automatic toilet and the flush did not work so I tried to push the button. It was broken but there were no signs indicating it was broken. My finger went through the whole and got stuck.

Security tried pulling my finger out using lotion and WD-40 which did not work and was extremely painful. Then finally they got maintenance to take apart the device on the wall to cut my finger loose. They whole situation was embarrassing and extremely painful. I’m wondering if I have any kind of a personal injury case against the hotel?

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.


Dear Angela,

If there was a law which provided compensation for embarrassment you would certainly be at the front of the line. No one should be made to suffer the indignity you endured.

Regrettably, after researching as many California Statutes as we could find we were unable to find any which provided compensation for embarrassment and indignity.

You do have a claim for the pain you suffered, but unless you required hospitalization, or the pain caused you to spend any significant amount on doctors’ bills, your claim may not be legally sufficient.

You might consider getting a copy of the Incident Report from the hotel. With the Incident Report in hand compose a letter to the Hotel’s Corporate Offices. Send the letter Certified, Return Receipt Requested. Although it is unlikely, if you or any other person took photographs, enclose them in the letter as well.

Explain to them what happened, the amount of time you were in pain, and the sheer embarrassment and indignity the whole affair caused you. It’s unlikely they’ll send you any money. At a minimum you will hopefully receive a letter of apology.

If the Hotel Corporate Office wants to be fair, they might “comp” you some rooms in the future. Certainly having some form of compensation for your injuries and embarrassment is better than none.

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: August 16, 2011

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One thought on “Do I have a valid personal injury case?

  1. While I was vacationing in Las Vegas, I got injured by a swim pool umbrella in my face. I was lying down on a chair and from nowhere the umbrella flew into the air and hit my face. It caused me a red mark and a lot of pain. What I can do? The hotel is offering 2 free nights stay and 2 meals. Is that enough?

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