Visitor Question

Cut by rusty nail in Home Depot…

Submitted By: Joseph (Olympia, WA)

I was in a home Depot store when I was injured. It was a minor but painful injury. As I went to get a drink of water from their customer watering hole, I was gouged/cut in the side from a long rusty nail that was sticking out of a pallet they had sitting on a cart next to the water jug.

I contacted the manager and got some first aid to help​ stop the bleeding and to clean the wound. He claimed he asked someone to move it but it hadn’t been done. He then asked me to fill out a claim form.

The next day I saw the doctor and was told that due to the treatment I received for a recent work injury I would not need a new tetanus shot. They cleaned and dressed the wound and instructed me to do the same untill the injury was healed. It bled on and off for a few days and will no doubt leave a scar.

The store’s insurance company finally contacted me and asked what I was seeking. I said for my medical bills to be paid and compensation for pain and suffering. They asked for an amount but I did not have an answer for them yet. What is a reasonable amount to seek and why? Thanks.

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 Joseph,

The first consideration is the possibility of permanent scarring. Before having further discussions with the insurance company, seek the medical opinion of your physician. It’s possible your physician will refer you to a dermatologist who should be able to tell you if the injury will result in a permanent scar.

In most cases, the settlement offer made by the insurance company is the product of several factors, including medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, costs of travel to treatment, bandages, etc.), and lost wages.

Insurance companies have sophisticated computer programs like Colossus which tell them what the appropriate settlement offer is on any type of injury claim.

The program combines factors such as whether an attorney is involved, the amount of medical bills, the likelihood the claim will go to trial, whether the injury is temporary or permanent, and even the part of the country where the injury occurred. Pain and suffering is also factored into the formula.

There are some injury claims which can be handle without an attorney. These include accidents involving minor abrasions, cuts, a sprained ankle, and the like. However, some injuries should always be handled by an attorney. They include head trauma, 3rd degree burns, severe fractures, permanent scarring, and similar serious injuries.

You would be best served by speaking with several personal injury attorneys in your area. Fortunately, most injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations.

Learn more here: Liability in Slip and Fall Claims

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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