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Personal Injury Attorney Keith Shindler Discusses Being Injured at a Restaurant

Hello and welcome to another edition of Claim Your Justice on Facebook Live. The purpose of these sessions is to educate the Facebook community on what to do when an unfortunate personal injury happens. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, and you don’t know what to do, our job is to help you Claim Your Justice. You can reach us online at claimyourjustice.com and you can call us at 847-434-3555.

Today, we’re going to talk about a client of ours that was injured. On a beautiful Sunday, she and her family went to a restaurant to have a nice meal. They ordered some tea, and the waitress came over with tea. You know what happens, right? The waitress was busy trying to juggle a lot of things at once, loses track, and spilled boiling water all over our client’s leg.

Unfortunately, for the client, it immediately created a lot of pain and left a burn on two parts of her leg, one on the top of the thigh and a worse burn on the back of the calf. The question that this client asked was, do I have a claim against the restaurant? My answer is yes, you have a claim against the restaurant.

Let me tell you the first thing the client did that was right. The first thing the client did was they called an ambulance. The one thing the client didn’t do that I would have suggested they do differently was they did not take pictures of the scene. Many times in these situations, clients don’t take a picture and it’s hard to develop the scene and paint the best picture for the jury.

Then the client asked okay, now that I know that calling the ambulance was right, what are you going to be able to do for me in pursuit of this personal injury claim? The first thing we’re able to do is to recover the client’s medical bills. Now in this particular case, the client went to the emergency room, was released after about five or six hours, then was in so much pain that they had to go back to the emergency room the next day. So, the client is going to have substantial medical bills.

There’s also treatment with a burn specialist that needs to be performed over the next four to six weeks to make sure that the burn is properly treated and doesn’t get infected. The client is going to recover their medical bills. The client is also missing work because they can’t go to their job while they’re in this pain and have a wrap around their calf and their thigh that they need to change a couple of times a day. So, they’re also going to be able to recover their lost wages.

Now, because there’s a scar, and there are frequently not scars in personal injury cases, but because in this event there is a scar, the client is going to be able to add a component to their damage claim through our office of something called permanent disfigurement. In this particular case, it’s a burn, there is going to be a burn mark there for many years, and a slight burn mark forever.

That being said, the biggest component of this personal injury claim is pain and suffering. It’s an elusive term because pain and suffering certainly means something different to me than it will mean to the insurance company and the owners of the restaurant. It certainly means something different to me than it does to the client because the client is suffering the pain. So that’s it, we got the medical bills, we got the lost wages, we got the permanent disfigurement, we got the pain and suffering in this case.

The client asked me next, what do I do if anyone from the restaurant calls me? Well, that’s an easy one. If anyone contacts you when you’re injured and pursuing a claim against that party that contacts you, the best advice, the only advice, it’s a must-follow rule, is do not talk to the person calling you. It will never help you. There is never anything you are going to say that is going to help you. It is only for the benefit of their pocket, not your pocket.

What you can do is say “Thanks for the call. What’s your phone number? What’s your name? What’s the claim number? I’m going to have my lawyer call you”. You then call us at Claim Your Justice personal injury lawyers, you give us that information and we’ll handle that for you.

Now the next question is with regards to the restaurant because the concern from the client is “Oh my gosh, I don’t want to sue the waitress. She was so nice. I understand she didn’t do it on purpose. Are you going to sue the waitress?”

No, I’m not going to be taking the waitress to court for two reasons. Number one is purely economic reasons. The waitress is not going to have the money to compensate my client for their injuries. That’s number one. Number two is the employee is just the agent of the restaurant. The restaurant is the one that’s responsible for this claim.

Don’t ever worry about personally offending anyone, when it comes to your personal injury claim. Even if we were going to sue the waitress, it’s not for my client to worry about because they need to worry about getting better and the future pain they will have because of the injuries.  It’s not going to ruin anyone’s life, no one is going to jail over this. With regards to the restaurant, one of the things the client asked is what else can you do from a legal perspective so early in the case?

One technique is we will send out something called a preservation letter, the preservation letter is a formal letter that lays out to the recipient of the letter, what our claim is, and what our expectations are. We expect that if there’s any video, camera surveillance, or any pictures that the waitress or the manager took, we want those preserved. We don’t want those to be destroyed, erased, or thrown in the garbage.

It’s important early at the onset of an injury case to call Claim Your Justice, and then we get to work right away. Part of our task is locating and preserving evidence, and getting this preservation letter out. Sure they could ignore it, but for the most part, if they got a preservation letter, and then we can prove that they disregarded the demand of the preservation letter and destroyed evidence, there could be something at trial called a Spoilation case. Spoilation claim for destroying evidence.

Well, I wanted to point out for you these everyday things that happen to people in everyday life, and discuss how to help you Claim Your Justice. If anything happens to you, your family, friends, or loved ones, please call Claim Your Justice at 847-434-3555 or reach us here at claimyourjustice.com

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