Do I need an attorney? I swallowed glass at a restaurant and got a low settlement offer.

Asked almost 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

About a month ago, I was at a chain restaurant and bit down on what I thought was ice from my soda but it turned out to be glass. Before I realized it I swallowed some. I told the manager and headed to the emergency room. There were no cuts or bleeding in my mouth. I had to be put to sleep and examined, but there was no internal bleeding. I had blood in my bowel movement, but they said that should go away in a week which it did. The doctor said that although they didn't find anything there was no way to be sure it couldn't cause internal problems in the future. Insurance covered my medical bills. I was offered $525. Should I take it? Should I hire an attorney? What if I have problems in the future? How much is my claim worth?

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Paul J Molinaro

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    17

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Swallowing glass may or may not have effects later. Whether there will be subsequent problems is not so much of a legal question as a medical one. An ER doctor who performs an emergency scoping procedure to determine the nature and extent of acute trauma is only looking for said acute trauma. He or she may not be the best person to opine as to whether there will be other problems later - non-acute problems such as scarring from a laceration and subsequent bowel obstruction. The legal question of what amount is fair for such an injury cannot be answered accurately until the actual extent of the medical damages is known. Thus, a person who swallowed glass would want to follow-up with a gastroenterologist for a determination and opinion as to future medical care and complications. A personal injury attorney would really appreciate a potential client coming in to his or her office with such a specialist report as it would make determining the "value" of the case much easier.

    - Paul

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
    Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
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    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito... more
  2. Malosack Berjis

    Contributor Level 20

    16

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should not take the money they offered without consulting with an attorney, in your area, first. (And, the fact that you could very well have problems in the future is the number one reason you should not take their offer.) And, you should always have an attorney on your side when dealing with insurance companies (and their adjusters). Furthermore, it is very difficult to estimate the value of your claim without more facts, speaking with you and seeing your medical records.

  3. Constantine D. Buzunis

    Contributor Level 17

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should hire an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area right away and get the proper legal advice.
    Were you able to secure any of the broken glass from the soda cup or from passing through your digestive tract? You need to keep that glass as evidence!
    Good Luck!

    Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.... more
  4. Scott J. Corwin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You absolutely need to consult with a locally experienced personal injury attorney. As for how much your claim is worth, I cannot tell you without reviewing the details of your case. I have over 20 years experience protecting my clients' rights and fighting for my clients to give them the settlements they deserve. If you have any questions, feel free to call my office anytime.

    Scott J Corwin
    (310) 207-4030

  5. Barry P. Goldberg

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is indeed fortunate that your injuries are not life-threatening or more severe.
    After you are satisfied that your condition is permanent and stationary, you should consult with a local counsel that has significant experience handling these types of cases.
    Assuming for the sake of this theoretical question only, my anecdotal experience is that food adulteration adjusters have about $1500 in authority --in most cases---to resolve claims with injury victims before a lawyer is hired and becomes involved in the case.
    Because I do not have sufficient information about your claim, the injuries and the circumstances, I am not in the position to recommend that you settle your case in any particular amount.
    As with the other posters to your question, we wish you the best of luck and good future health!!

  6. Kenneth Lee LaBore

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    16

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am glad that you did not sustain an obvious serious injury. I would speak with an attorney to make sure that the amount you accept covers any medical bills you had and you are clear if you settle whether you owe any money to your insurance company for the emergency room visit (which is common)

    If you do not have an obvious permanent injury you are lucky however the amount offered for a settlement probably will not be substantial

    Good luck.

    AVVO DISCLAIMER I am licensed in Minnesota only and my answers on Avvo assume Minnesota law. The answers I... more
  7. Isaac Kohen

    Contributor Level 5

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would definitively not rush into settlement in such a case. There may be complications that you are still not aware of. Another thing you should look out for is any kind of rectal bleeding, because the skin in the rectal area is extremely sensitive and if damaged it could turn into a fistula or fissure. These kind of injuries may require expensive surgery, which the insurance would not pay for if you accept the settlement. Ultimately, I hope that all is well and the worst is behind you.

  8. Jonathan D'Agostino

    Pro

    Contributor Level 4

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The value of the case depends greatly on the extent of the injury. Seems here, litigation isn't warranted.

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