How do I defend myself against someone I accidentally injured?

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How do I defend myself against someone I accidentally injured?

While pier fishing, I accidentally hooked someone walking behind me on the pier. Now they are trying to get me to pay all medical bills they incurred at the hospital to remove the hook which they could have just pulled out themselves. It seems like they are trying to profit from the accident. When they said they were OK and not in pain at time if the incident. Please advise what I should do as I am going to have to pay out of my pocket for medical bill.

Asked on July 31, 2017 under Personal Injury, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you refuse to pay what they want, you can either try to negotiate to an amount you are willing to pay to avoid the chance of being sued, or else refuse to pay and wait to see if he does sue you--remember, only if he sues and wins can you be forced to pay anything.
If he does sue, you can defend in two ways in court:
1) Show that you were not at fault--that you were not being careless. You are only liable to pay if you were negligent (careless) and so at fault. If the pier had other people on it, then it is possible that swinging your pole around or casting from it would be seen as careless, however, due to the reasonable likelihood of hitting or hooking someone; if that were the case, you would be liable.
2) Show that his costs or injuries are less than he claims--he can only recover for the costs, etc. he can provably show came more or less directly from you hooking him.
Note that he was NOT obligated to remove the hook himself and could seek medical attention.


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