My son cut his toes on a piece of glass in a pool

My son is a student at UCSB. Saturday he was at a friends place, stepped into a Jacuzzi and severely damaged three of his toes on his right foot. He went to the ER, they stitched him up for now, but was told that he needs an orthopedic surgeon to reconstruct damage nerves and tissue in the area. He has student health insurance which has limited coverage and a large deductible. I am certain that the home owner Landlord of this condo that he was visiting has homeowners insurance. What is your advice on contacting them for potentially recovering our cost and/or compensation for permanent damage to my sons foot?

Asked on April 10, 2017 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You should contact the homeowner/landlord and obtain the homeowner's insurance information (name of company, address and telephone number).
Notify that insurance carrier in writing of your son's claim.
When your son completes his medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in his medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain his medical bills and medical reports.  I assume there isn't any wage loss since he is a student.
Your son's claim filed with the homeowner's insurance carrier should include his medical bills and medical reports.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of his injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If there is a wage loss claim, compensation for documentation of wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the homeowner's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the homeowner's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the homeowner based on premises liability.
If your son is a minor, you will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file the lawsuit on his behalf.  If he is not a minor, he can file the lawsuit himself.
If the case is NOT settled, your son's lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your son will lose his rights forever in the matter.  CA has a two year statute of limitations in personal injury cases which means that the lawsuit must be filed prior to the two year anniversary of the date of the injury.


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