What are my rights if I had to go to the ER after puncturing my foot twice on a screw at the motel we were staying at?

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What are my rights if I had to go to the ER after puncturing my foot twice on a screw at the motel we were staying at?

The screw was attached to a large palm leaf that had blown off of the motels picnic shelter. There were several other blown down pieces with screws in them as well. Do I need a lawyer? I believe the motel should at least be responsible for my medical care.

Asked on July 6, 2013 under Personal Injury, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The motel would only be liable--including for your medical costs--if they way they attached the screw and leaf, or constructed the shelter, was so poor as to be "unreasonably careless"; if so, they may be negligent and therefore liable. (Though note: even if they are, if they won't pay voluntarily, you'd have to sue them for the money, which may not be cost effective.)

If the screw/leaf was attached properly, and the shelter built in a reasonable way, and it's just that an unusually strong wind pulled it loose, then the motel would not be responsible, because they would have done nothing wrong. A business is only liable when at fault, not merely because someone is injured on its property.


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