What are our rights if my 11 daughter sliced open the bottom of her foot on the corner of her bedframe, requiring a trip to the ER and 12 stitches to close the wound?

Then returning home to 2 bedrooms and 1 hallway with heavy blood trails throughout. Looking at the top edge of the bed frame near the corner of the mattress I ran my finger along the edge lightly and almost produced a cut. Is there anything we can do?

Asked on June 18, 2014 under Personal Injury, Nebraska

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to contact both the manufacturer of the bed frame and the store where the bed frame was purchased to obtain the name, address and telephone number of their respective insurance carriers.  Inform the insurance carriers in writing that you will be filing a personal injury claim on behalf of your daughter.

When your daughter completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor, obtain her medical bills and medical reports.  Her personal injury claim filed with the insurance carriers of the bed frame manufacturer and the store where the bed frame was purchased should include the medical bills and medical reports.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of the injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If the case is settled with the insurance carriers of both the manufacturer and store, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with the settlement offers, reject them and file a lawsuit on behalf of your daughter against the manufacturer and store for negligence and strict liability.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your daughter because she is a minor.

Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable manufacturer would have exercised to produce a product that is not defective).  Strict liability is liability whether or not due care was exercised.  The store where the bed frame was purchased is liable even if it could not have known that the product was defective.  Negligence and strict liability are separate causes of action (claims) in the lawsuit on behalf of your daughter against the manufacturer and store.

If the case is settled with one of the parties (manufacturer or store), but not both, only name the party with whom the case has not settled as a defendant in the lawsuit.  If the case has not settled with either party, name both as defendants in the lawsuit.

If the case has NOT settled, the lawsuit for negligence and strict liability must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights forever in the matter.


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