If a friend of mine was drunk and twisted my fingers resulting in a really bad sprained finger, how can I get my medical expenses reimbursed?

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If a friend of mine was drunk and twisted my fingers resulting in a really bad sprained finger, how can I get my medical expenses reimbursed?

The finger has become so painful that it doesn’t let me sleep or work. I have been in and out of ER for the pain. My friend is looking to get out of paying for the medical expenses and is forcing me to sign the release form. Can I press charges for this? How do I retrieve the medical expenses legally from him? So far i have spent several thousands of dollars for the treatment with no results. I have been put up in a prosthetic device for managing the pain of my finger.

Asked on August 4, 2014 under Personal Injury, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can't press charges unless you believe he did this with criminal intent--basically, an intent to harm you--rather than being careelss or negligent because he was drunk. Also, pressing charges will not help you recover your medical costs: the police, prosecutor, and criminal justice system punish criminal acts, but do not help injured people recover compensation for their injuries.

To recover money from your "friend," if he will not compensate you voluntarily, you would have to sue him in court and win; that it, you'd have to prove that it is more likely than not that he negligently, or carelessly, caused you injury. You'd also have to prove the extent and cost of your injuries. For amounts that are equal to or less than the threshhold for small claims court, you may be best off acting as your own attorney (pro se) and suing in small claims court; for larger amounts, you should contact an attorney to help you.


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