CanI sue someone who chipped my tooth with a bottle at a party?

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CanI sue someone who chipped my tooth with a bottle at a party?

I was at a party. This girl was jumping around with a bottleand she hit my tooth. She said she was gonna pay me back but she never did. She said she’s not paying because it was an accident. Can I sue her and make her pay for my tooth?

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Personal Injury, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The girl is liable for negligence for accidentally chipping your tooth with the bottle.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care) mentioned above, breach of duty (failure to exercise due care by jumping around with a bottle), actual cause, proximate cause and damages.

Actual cause means but for the girl jumping around with the bottle, would your tooth have been chipped?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable, intervening events which would relieve the girl of liability.  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit.  Your damages should include the dental bill, compensation for pain and suffering and if applicable documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the dental bill is straight reimbursement.  The dental report will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the dental bill.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

In addition to the girl being named as a defendant in your lawsuit, the owner of the property where your injury occurred  is also liable because a property owner is liable for a guest's injuries and should be named as a defendant in your lawsuit.  It may be possible to settle your personal injury claim with the property owner's insurance carrier.  If the case is settled with the property owner's insurance carrier, the property owner would NOT be named as a defendant in your lawsuit; the girl would still be named as a defendant and your lawsuit would proceed against her.  If the case is NOT settled with the property owner's insurance carrier, the property owner would also be named as a defendant in your lawsuit.

If the case is NOT settled, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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