How much do we settle a toddler salmonella case for? 10 Answers as of June 03, 2014

Our 1 year old contracted salmonella poisoning from a local well known pet shop the end of January 2014, hospitalizing him for over a week. It resulted in a number of doctor visits, testing and caused him to develop food intolerances, which are still an issue. We've contacted the pet store since getting the positive reports back from the health department and they want to sit and talk with us (discuss bills, loss wages, etc.). Ideally, we'd like to do this without an attorney (but will if we must) but are uncertain as to what we'd ask them for back figure wise. Insurance covered $25,000 of the hospital bills leaving us with a little over $2,000. We have a couple doctors bill that only equal a couple hundred dollars. We both missed a couple weeks’ worth of work, spent a load of money on food expenses (eating out nearly every meal being away from home, etc.) Any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks!

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The Bryan Law Firm, L.L.C.
The Bryan Law Firm, L.L.C. | Douglas L. Bryan
The only way to give you an accurate answer is going to require that an attorney sit down and review your son's case, including medical records, causation, etc. You've also got other issues to consider, including whether your health insurance has the right to be reimbursed for what it has paid out. You'll likely come out ahead hiring an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 6/3/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Almost every day we get a request for evaluation of a claim. We cannot respond to such a request, as there are simply too many elements to be considered. These include percentage of fault, age and health and background of the claimant, the nature of the injury, the treatment, the diagnosis, the prognosis, the cost of the treatment, and the outcome. Also to be taken into account in some cases are the amount and type of insurance coverage and the name of the insurance company. Most attorneys offer a free conference. We suggest that you talk to a few lawyers. Also, you should know that an independent study showed that claimants did better, even after fees, with a lawyer than without.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/8/2014
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
My best advice is to hire a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/8/2014
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
Case values vary significantly from case to case and place to place. Experienced injury lawyers are familiar with such values. Consider consulting one.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/8/2014
Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC
Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC | Linda Chalat
I hope your toddler is fully recovered, but if his food allergies appear to be permanent you may wish to speak to a personal injury lawyer. Depending upon the severity of the new food allergies and how strongly the allergies can be linked to the salmonella, this may be significant permanent impairment. If you file a lawsuit, you would also be entitled to seek all of the medical expenses billed for the care, not just your out of pocket costs. If the food allergies are not significant and there is no other permanent harm, then you may wish to consider settling for $5-$10 Thousand dollars for your inconvenience and trouble.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/8/2014
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Why don't you share the facts. What makes pet shop liable for salmonella poison? You may have had a bad time but why is someone else at fault (if they are).
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 5/8/2014
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    This kind of question drives me crazy. When your child became sick, you didn't go on to a website and ask for free advice from a doctor who had never seen your child so that you could practice medicine on him yourself. No, this was too important, your child's health was threatened, so you did the right thing and took him to a hospital. But now, you want free advice from lawyers who have never seen your child so that you can resolve his liability claim. In order to get a law degree, we spend tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of work and study so that we can learn how to do what you are trying to learn in a few e-mails. There is no room for do-it-yourselfers in this situation. If you try to negotiate this claim on your own, wou will be up against professional insurance people, lawyers who know what they're doing and liability issues, questions and rules that you don't know anything about. They are not your friends and they have no desire to help you out. Indeed, their responsibility is to protect their interests, not yours. Assessment of damages in a personal injury case requires detailed analysis of liability, the injuries, and the effect of those injuries upon the individual. This analysis includes application of legal principles, evidentiary factors, medical documentation, out of pocket expenses, calculation of future losses and experience in your jurisdiction as to likely range of prospective jury awards. Then there is the question of settlement negotiation and tactics, and I mentioned above what you are up against. I typically spend about 4 - 6 hours reviewing a file once it is complete in order to determine my settlement position. So, not only is it a question of what an appropriate amount would be, there is the matter of how to go about the negotiation, and then, what to do if negotiations are not successful. Here's a small sample: as several of my clients have done, you used the word "ask". I never "ask". I TELL them what they must do in order to settle this claim. I don't fault you for not knowing what you are doing, but the fact is, you don't. So get someone who does.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/8/2014
    Ty Wilson Law
    Ty Wilson Law | Ty Wilson
    You should consult with an attorney. More details are needed and the anticipated long term affects.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/7/2014
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    I tend to be conservative in ?the sense I recommend less often going to an attorney, but in your case you definitely need one. ?One of you will have to be appointed a guardian of the child and the money for pain and suffering and permanent injuries will have to be put into a trust fund for your child [the attorney's fee will be limited by the court to perhaps 20% contingency]. ?You have to calculate how much your additional food bills will be because of the food problems. Should you both be compensated for your time off work and what about future time you will have to spend with the child because of the food problems. ?They will argue you were comparatively negligent in allowing a child to eat pet food and that the contamination occurred at your home and was not in the food. They will say you should sue the manufacturer of the pet food and not the store that had no idea there was a problem. ?Have other people encountered the same problems? Many attorneys would not be able to handle this case well, so how are you, especially with your emotional stake in the matter, going to negotiate with the other side, who will probably have a claims adjuster there. They very well might just want to know what expenses and claims they are facing and will not offer you anything.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/7/2014
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    In order to evaluate the case, it would be helpful to review the medical records and bills for all treatment rendered. In many cases, if you hire an attorney you can get more after the attorney is paid than you would have gotten on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/7/2014
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