Broken leg!

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YellowSocks's picture
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05/22/2008

This has not been a great weekend so far.

Guests arrived a little early.  They had been so certain of their arrival time, and I had gotten distracted with boys, that one of their rooms (and the patio) weren't quite ready.  Oh well, I guess... scrambled a little and things seemed OK.

Then this morning wife comes down from third floor, waives to her MIL in the dining room, misses the bottom step and goes down.  Got her a chair to prop her leg on, told her to leave her shoe on, and got her some ice (R-I-C-E).  Worried because it didn't hurt too much.  As I learned with my ankle, sprains hurt way more than breaks... sure enough, after a trip to the ER she has a broken (non-weight bearing) bone.  So much for her day at the Fair today.  Her dh has spent the day running errands and fetching food and meds, but seems quite chipper tonight.

Neither dh nor I have mentioned anything about insurance, but I'm dreading it.  We have expressed our sympathy, of course...  I don't even know what our deductible is, but I don't want to find out.

Tonight I learn that the MIL is now at a relative's house and the couple has moved to the first floor room (with some of their stuff still upstairs).  They haven't asked for a refund or discount, and I haven't offered.

Dh checked in the vegan, so I'll have that challenge in the morning. 

Maybe everything's fine, but I'm still on edge...

=)
Kk.

egoodell's picture
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06/01/2008

 We have our fingers crossed for you. I'm so afraid of something like this! I would check with my insurance agent to get their advice as to procedures for sure.

Riki

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seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

i'm coming in a little late to the discussion

i would document all that i know and saw.

and i would contact my insurer with questions. does this sound like stirring up trouble?

the reason i say this is is because, let's say the woman has no insurance. who will pay for the treatment bills? if she does have insurance, won't her insurer ask 'where were you and how did this happen' and then try to recover monies from your insurer? i believe that is how it works, regardless of whether or not she believes fault lies with you or your place.  just my two cents.

hope it all works out okay.  but this is WHY we have to pay for that insurance. 

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

I would call my insurance guy. He's been really open with us and tells us to call first rather than him hearing about anything out of the blue. Too bad we just got a letter saying he died. Not sure the next person, who hasn't even bothered to contact us in person, will be as nice.

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Sanctuary's picture
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06/10/2008

I have a legal background and used to do slip and fall personal injury work.  What really sucks is that if a lawyer gets a hold of her, the next thing you'll be accused of is that your "handrail was not graspable" according to the Life Safety Code.  Never mind that everyone in the last 100 years has been able to use the handrail without a problem.  The code defines the handrail as being graspable by its dimensions.  It's amazing how many handrails both in residential and commercial applications do not meet this threshhold and that's the "gotcha."  Other criteria are things like how far away was the handrail in relation to where she was standing/walking down the stairs and did the handrail go all the way to the bottom of the "landing" which is the floor.  Some Victorian style staircases have landings where the stairs curve back around and that will often put the location of the handrail "out of reach" according to the Life Safety Code. 

And then there's the measurement of the "riser."  And then there's the question of whether there was enough contrast in color/shade for the steps to be recognized as having dimension.  And the "traction" factor - was it slippery?  Varnished wood and painted steps often land in this pitfall.  These are all legal tools to make you responsible for a plaintiff's never-ending damages.

Most states have a two-year statute of limitations which means she would have two years (or whatever your state's statute is) from the date of her fall to make a claim against you.  Great, eh?

I've seen all kinds of claims made for all kinds of ridiculous incidents, i.e. a woman fell on a set of concrete stairs that were outside, but covered (no walls - just a "carport" type covering) because the stairs were wet when it was raining.  Another woman fell on acorns in the Fall, as she walked through someone's yard under an oak tree, as the acorns fell from the trees.  It happens - don't you just love what the American lifestyle has become? 

My guest reservation/registration form contains a clause that serves to warn guests about the possibility of falls since the yacht is a floating, and therefore "moving", vessel and that each guest has to sign my registration form that also states they assume the risk of falls and hold me harmless.  That's good for most purposes.  However, if I leave something laying on the stairs or if my stairs collaspe under under their feet, that's different.  I'm on the hook for that.  But if another boat comes by, throwing a big wake making ours rock and you fall down, then that's not my fault - you've assume the risk associated with being on a yacht.  I provide this form to them well in advance so that if they don't like it, they can go stay somewhere else.  I don't need anyone onboard looking to sue me because the boat moved and they fell down.

When people come aboard I tell them to always use the handrails at all times - another form of "I warned you" that works in your favor if a claim is made against you.  So many times, someone making a claim says, "I wasn't warned of the danger" (those are words you'll hear if someone hires a lawyer to sue you) - forget about common sense; it doesn't apply if you're sued.  For liability purposes, on a charter, I still have to warn guests of the dangers associated with swimming, snorkeling, unfriendly marine life, drinking, etc.  even though we all know from common sense that yes, you can drown if you go swimming or snorkeling; yes, if you touch a jelly fish or red coral it will sting you; yes, if you drink too much you could get hurt; yes, if you jump off the back of the boat while we're docking, you will likely be killed; yes, if you put any of your limbs between the boat and a dock or piling, you'll likely lose it.  All this seems silly, but we have to give that speech during orientation.

Doing plaintiff's personal injury work in the past has helped me develop my business to prevent being successfully sued as best as I can.  And for that reason, I'm happy that I used to do that work.  Good lessons learned for life down the road from there.

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www.sanctuarycharteryacht.com
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YellowSocks's picture
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05/22/2008

Wow.

Good background for a boat.

Too bad it doesn't work in a place like this.  Can you imagine the check in speech?

Here's how the door works... don't pinch your fingers.  Here's the water and tea... don't scald yourself.  Here's the staircase, please use the railing...  Here's the bed... try not to fall off. 

Ugh.

=)
Kk.

inncogneeto's picture
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08/31/2008

The sad part is, it's come to that in our society!

Don't breath, you will get sued for depriving someone else of oxygen!

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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inncogneeto wrote:

The sad part is, it's come to that in our society!

Don't breath, you will get sued for depriving someone else of oxygen!


DH said this couple asked about the air quality here.  Dh laughed and said "This is fresh mountain air!" and that was that. 

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Oh great now we have to assure the air quality...give me a break.!

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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catlady wrote:

Oh great now we have to assure the air quality...give me a break.!

DH said they probably don't even know what fresh air is, since they live in stinky old London.

I might start using that - Fresh Mountain Air or something in my marketing.  Fresh country breezes complete with sights, sounds and smells of dairy farms. 

(I remember you stories about that with your guests)

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Thankfully the pastures around us are big enough that the cow aroma gets spread aroundSmiling  But during some hot and humid muggy days...it can get stinky. All part of living in the country. And then of course there are the few weeks when they are spreading chicken manure in the fields...still not as bad as hog farmsSmiling

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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05/22/2008

You have no idea, guys, this thread was right on the money for us this morning.  A couple from the UK at check out were talking to DH about a hospital.

I asked him what they needed, he said, She was having difficulty breathing since coming here and wanted to know how to get to the big or bigger hospital in nearby city.  We have a hospital 2 blocks from here with a good ER.  Dh said he mentioned that and they wanted the hospital (s) in nearby city (20 minute drive).

I mentioned to DH about not saying "Hope it was your room" or anything like that.  DH didn't discuss anything other than directions with them.

Rental car Volvo and VERY difficult guests.  I hope we are not going to fund this trip for them!!!

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05/22/2008

You aren't repsonible for her breathing  problem.......or....was it only in your house or for the entire trip?? Still don't think they can do anything to you. IF she has allergies etc and they never informed you...it is not your problem.

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Like the others, I would say NOTHING. It was not your fault or the fault of any deficiency in your property. Just a guest not paying attention. She is probably more embarrassed than anything. Just do what you can to be your hospitable self and go on your merry way.  And PRAY the bill doesn't show up in your mail box.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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Say nothing but your normal cheerful self and DOCUMENT everything.  Witnesses other than her relatives?

If she went to ER she owuld have said something about cost or insurance right?

PS Lastly I would be tempted to get a photo of her enjoying her stay...for evidence later.  She was capable of this and that.  Don't make it sound like that is what it is for of course.

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08/07/2008

This doesn't sound like fun.  I had a guest fall off the porch on their way out.  It only has three steps.  I watched them fall over just like a tree and hit the lawn.  They were okay though but embarassed.   I learned in a hospitality class I took that you should never admit fault to anyone.

IronGate's picture
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08/09/2008

oceans wrote:

. . .   I learned in a hospitality class I took that you should never admit fault to anyone.

Don't even say anything to make them feel better, because it might be construed as a tacit admission of fault.  Something like "Oh that step got you, eh?" or "you're not only one who's done that", (even if you just meant generally, in the history of mankind, she's not the first one who's fallen off a step) implies that you knew there was a problem.

Of course if you really want to head it off at the pass, before they say anything, tell them as an aside, "By the way, there was no damage to the property when you threw yourself at my floor, so I won't have to add any additional charges to your bill. That should make you feel better!"

Best advice, though, is as the others said.  Say nothing more about it.  If anyone ever asks you why, your response is, "I didn't want to keep embarrassing her about her clumsiness!"

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Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

 

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06/24/2008

Sorry to hear of this matter.  Say nothing about your ins., be helpful but not overly so, and get on with your daily tasks. 

It is a shame that this happened, but it clearly was not your fault.  Hope nothing ugly comes out this matter.  Good luck. 

GeorgiaGirl's picture
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06/09/2008

Good thoughts are coming your way!  I too probably wouldn't say anything.  I missed the curb leaving the store at the mall last year and fell.  It was my fault for not paying more attention so the thought never crossed my mind that someone else should pay my bills or give me "compensation".  I didn't break my leg, but I did sprain my right wrist/elbow and ankle as well as I got a lot of bruises. 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Say nothing and then PRAY.

My prayers are that this one is like the man I dumped a spinach egg bake hot out of the oven on - got his arm, his shirt, and his slacks. I had to drag him to the sink to hold his arm under cold water, turned my back and he had disappeared upstairs to change clothes (he rinsed them in the bathtub and would not even let me wash them), when he came down I had to practically hog-tie him to put burn creme on his arm. They came back last year (from Oregon) with friends. Mine was MY fault.  Yours is HER inattention. She did not trip over anything.

I am just sorry you have to go through this.

 

swirt's picture
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05/17/2008

oooh that's a tough one.  I wish I had some advice, but I've got nothing.  Sorry.  Hope it works out ok.

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