Toddler cut finger in store...

by Stacy
(Canton, OH, USA)

My 3 year old was with me at Victoria's Secret last night. She was by my side at the underwear table and grabbed a drawer knob and cut her finger. It was bleeding all over. I didn't see anything, so I felt around to see what she cut herself on and cut my finger too. There was a broken piece of metal on it.

The store did take our information down, but I did not get a copy of a report or pictures. My concern was my daughter. The cut would not stop bleeding, so we had to pay a visit to Stat Care where they applied Dermabond to the cut.

Can I please have some direction on handling this. I hate to be sue happy, but I would like some compensation from this. What can I expect? Corporate left me a voicemail today, but I have not called back yet. Any information you can give would be helpful. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Toddler cut finger in store...":

Stacy (Canton, OH, USA) :

You can return the call from the corporate office. Simply tell them you are in the process of determining the extent of your daughter's current and future medical bills. Doing so does not imply you are "sue happy." Quite the contrary.

You are simply making sure the store remains labile for the injuries your daughter sustained, and the medical treatment she will require.

Mention your main concern is the possibility of scarring. Before you agree to any settlement, you want to be sure your daughter's cut will not result in a permanent scar. If so, the store must compensate your daughter (through you) for her scarring.

Tell the corporate office you will get back to them once you've spoken with your daughter's pediatrician. Her pediatrician will be able to determine whether a scar will likely remain, and if so, whether or not cosmetic surgery will be necessary.

If the pediatrician or cosmetic surgeon determine permanent scarring will occur, your next step is to retain a personal injury attorney. Permanent scarring is a very serious matter. There is too much at stake in such a case for a lay person to handle the matter without an attorney.

In the hopeful event your daughter's injury will not result in permanent scarring, you can handle the claim yourself (even though it's always a good idea to get a free consultation with a local attorney).

To determine a fair amount of settlemet multiply your daughter's medical bills by 3 or 4x. Staring at 4 is reasonable and settling for 2-3x the amount of her medical bills is realistic, since you'll be negotiating a final settlement with the insurance adjuster.

The multiplier is meant to cover medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, bandages, costs of travel to and from treatment, etc.), your lost wages when you took your daughter to and from the doctor, and your daughter's (not yours) pain and suffering.

For example, at a multiple of 3x medical bills, if your daughter's medical bills were $500.00, your out-of-pocket expenses for medications was $20.00, medical building parking fees were $25.00, and lost wages were $300.00, a settlement in the amount of $1500.00 would leave you with a net settlement of $1,155.00.

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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