Visitor Question

My leg was severely cut at a party because of a broken glass table…

Submitted By: Lauryn (NY)

I was standing with my brother at the over-crowed after party for a premiere, and all of a sudden I felt some horrible pressure on my leg. We looked down and there was a puddle of my own blood. Someone had fallen behind me, broke a small table (like black ice glass table that can take your head off it’s so heavy), and sliced my left leg almost in half!

After realizing all the blood on the floor was mine, and the cut was so deep, we all tried to hand hold the wound using makeshift tourniquets. We went straight to the ER where each Dr said I need surgery ASAP, but later the night got and the harder to see into the freshly cut wound.

They all agreed to stitch it up and send me to see the head orthopedic surgeon. So they did 40 inner painful stitches and 14 outer stitches.

On the second day I was totally immobile, couldn’t work, and in severe pain. And now I have my already hard working mother looking after me, because I am not able to move at all!

Monday I have an appointment with the best orthopedic surgeon at 3 pm, when I will learn if I need the surgery, depending on what tendon is torn.

This has never happened to me. I am a fashion stylist who runs around all day to get clothes to dress celebrities and bands on tour, but NOT NOW…

I don’t want to anger my friend because it all went down at his mansion, but I have hospital bills, potential surgery, and I’m scared the leg might not ever recover. I am single, on my own, self dependent, self employed, and need help. What can I do? 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.

Answer

Dear Lauryn,

The bad news is, you were seriously injured. The good news is, your friend owns a “mansion.” As a result, he or she likely has in place a substantial homeowners insurance policy.

Fortunately, homeowners insurance companies do not require proof of negligence as a basis to pay an injury claim. All that’s needed to be covered is proof the injury occurred on the insured’s premises. Under the policy’s “Medical Payments” section, you have a right to reimbursement for all your medical treatment and out-of-pocket expenses directly related to your injury and it’s treatment.

Your friend may also have in place under her homeowners insurance a “personal liability” policy. To be compensated for your lost wages and pain and suffering, you would have to prove your friend was negligent, and that negligence directly caused your injury.

But there is a caveat…

If you were drinking alcohol at or about the time of the injury, your negligence claim may be diminished by New York’s comparative negligence statute. Under your friend’s personal liability policy, the percentage of your comparative negligence will be subtracted from the total amount of compensation you would otherwise receive.

If, in the unlikely event your friend was not insured at the time you were injured, you will have to pursue a claim against him personally.

Some personal injury claims can be handled without an attorney. These “soft tissue” injury cases often include bumps and bruises, minor cuts, minor burns, sprained tendons, and the like. More serious injuries like yours require the representation of an experienced personal injury attorney.

This is especially true if you are to pursue a negligence claim against your friend’s liability policy or against he or she personally. Negligence claims often require testimony of one or more orthopedic surgeons, the subpoenaing of documents, depositions and more. There is just too much at stake in a serious injury case like yours.

Fortunately, you won’t have to pay any legal fees, costs of depositions and other expenses out of your own pocket during the pendency of your claim. You will only have to pay legal fees and costs if your attorney settles your claim, or wins it at trial.

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: July 26, 2014

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