I was eating a coffee cake I bought at a large grocery store chain and I bit into a walnut shell. I had to get my tooth worked on as it had cracked due to biting into the shell. The store's insurance agents are asking me what I want to settle on for my damages, what would you suggest? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Tooth Damage After Biting Into Coffee Cake...":
Lisa (Ogdensburg, NY):
Your case is considered a "Product Liability" case. The company which sold you the cake (product) has a duty of care to its customers. They breached that duty when they permitted, knowingly or not, a walnut shell to be left in the cake they sold to you. Although you were injured, your injury wasn't a result of willful or malicious intent.
As a result, the settlement for your injury will not be substantial. It will probably include reimbursement for your dental bills, and payment for any wages you may have lost when you were being treated or were recovering from the injury.
In addition, you may be entitled to reimbursement for any out of pocket expenses such as prescription or over the counter medications. Finally, you may be entitled to a reasonable amount of money for your pain and suffering.
Figuring out what the proper settlement amount should be can be difficult. The rule of thumb is taking your dental bills (by themselves) and multiplying them by 3 - 4 times. Start at 4 times, and try and convince the insurance company to settle for somewhere around that number or slightly less, but no less than 3 times that amount.
Since laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions, you should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state (if you haven't already). Find an experienced local attorney to give you a free personal case review here.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.