How much in damages shouldI ask for an injury suffered my my child?

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How much in damages shouldI ask for an injury suffered my my child?

My 7 year old daughter’s back was hurt going down a water slide that was provided as part of a local organization’s party. Water slide was set up on concrete and water at the bottom of the slide was weighing down the inflated “landing zone” at the bottom. We were told that 1 boy had gotten hurt on it and that they had closed it until they could make it safe. Staff placed some gymnastics mats under the “landing zone” and reopened it. My daughter went down and injured her back. She took an ambulance to the ER and had a CAT Scan. Had soft tissue damage around spine. 3 days bed rest, follow up and chiropractor visits. Insurance company has agreed to pay $4200 in medical bills but has not mentioned pain & suffering. Should I send a demand letter? Should I speak with a a personal injury attorney? In Washington County, IN.

Asked on August 29, 2010 under Personal Injury, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that your daughter has been released by the doctor after completing treatment and you have obtained the total medical bills and medical report, the medical report will document the nature and extent of her injury and will be used to determine the amount of compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  I would ask for quadruple the total medical bill as compensation for pain and suffering, but NOT expecting to get anything close to that.  This would just be a starting point in negotiations.  The insurance company will respond with a lower offer and negotiations should continue to try to have the insurance company increase its settlement offer.  If your daughter has residual problems after being released by the doctor and/or if future treatment is anticipated, these would be arguments in favor of additional compensation.  There isn't any mathematical formula for determining the amount of compensation for pain and suffering.   It just depends on the facts of the case.  You will  need to be appointed guardian ad litem to pursue the claim on behalf of your daughter since she is a minor.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, you can file a lawsuit for negligence against the organization that owned/set up the water slide.  Again, you will need to be designated guardian ad litem since a minor cannot sue on her own behalf.  Your lawsuit will need to be filed prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights in the matter forever.

It would be advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney.  You asked about sending a demand letter.  The demand letter should include the medical bills, medical reports, and the amount you are requesting from the insurance company when your daughter completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor.  As mentioned above, the insurance company will respond with a lower offer.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, then proceed with your lawsuit as mentioned above.

 

 

 


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