what responsibility does a medical rental company have when they rent you broken equipment and you get hurt

We rented a knee walker from a medical supply company because I had Surgery on my
Ankle 4 days ago. I used it a few times today, went to leave the kitchen and
the seat broke off and I fell to the ground.

Asked on November 26, 2018 under Personal Injury, New York


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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You have claims against both the medical rental company and the manufacturer of the knee walker.
Prior to filing a lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with the insurance carriers for the medical rental company and manufacturer.  When you complete your medical treatment for injury from the fall and are released by the doctor, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  Your claim filed with the insurance carriers for the medical rental company and manufacturer should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document your injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  If the case is settled with both insurance carriers (manufacturer and  medical supply company), NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carriers, reject the  settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence and strict liability.  If the case is settled with one, but not both parties, only name the party with whom the case has not settled as a defendant in your lawsuit.
The manufacturer is liable for negligence for failure to exercise due care to produce a product that is not defective.
The rental company is liable for negligence for failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical supply company would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  
Strict liability is liability whether or not due care was exercised.
The rental company 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 your lawsuit.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence and strict liability must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

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