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Injury from an Animal

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MolleeZemel

New member
What is the name of your state? Florida

My 4 year old niece answered a door for the delivery driver and our dog jumped up on him. The delivery driver is claiming that he bit him. There was a circular wound but it appeared to be from his nail. My sister and I both examined it and it had stopped bleeding and appeared shallow. As the driver did not speak English, I spoke with his brother on the phone and I offered to pay the Medical Expenses after his visit, but never received a call. I then received a letter in the mail from a Lawyer that stated he is asking for $663 in Medical, $500 in legal, and over $1000 in lost wages claiming he was unable to work or drive for two weeks (The day of the injury he drove away from my house). I requested detailed medical statements due to him visiting the ER 3 times over two weeks showing that he was there for that reason and not another, pay stubs showing her earned $13/hr as a delivery driver, and a medical statement that he was unable to work during the stated time resulting in lost wages. The response that I received from the lawyer was that the client tried to contact me to pay but that I did not answer (I never received a voicemail), that he attempted to drop a letter off at my house personally twice and that he rang the doorbell (I dont have a doorbell) and that he could tell people were inside but that they would not answer. We are usually out of the house at 8:00am and dont return until 8:30pm most days. That he was not able to provide the detailed summaries and that I needed to contact Advent Health Directly (HIPPA Laws would prohibit them sharing this information with me). Regarding the Pay stubs he said "The owner of New China Wok doesn't provide the paystub for any his employee, but I kept all copy of the pay checks between March and June of 2019 (see the attached). Each month I got a $923.5 check ($1000 after federal tax withheld) plus the average $1100 cash from the delivery tips in March and April , but My May and June paychecks were reduced to $692.40 due to missed work hours. " He provided me with just a check for $923.50 from March but could not produce anything else. And in response to my request for medical documentation stating he was unable to work he said "in term of how many days/hours I missed from work the dog owner could call the owner of New China Wok for verification". Employee Laws should prohibit them from sharing this information with me and also would not provide me with documentation that he was unable to work, it would just verify that he did not work.

I explained that I was happy to pay what is fair but 3 different medical bills, 2 WEEKS of lost wages, and $500 in legal fees seems excessive to me when he cannot even provide me clarifying documentation to support his claims.

I feel as though he is just trying to get money from me at this point. Are they not legally obligated to prove this information?
 


Just Blue

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? Florida

My 4 year old niece answered a door for the delivery driver and our dog jumped up on him. The delivery driver is claiming that he bit him. There was a circular wound but it appeared to be from his nail. My sister and I both examined it and it had stopped bleeding and appeared shallow. As the driver did not speak English, I spoke with his brother on the phone and I offered to pay the Medical Expenses after his visit, but never received a call. I then received a letter in the mail from a Lawyer that stated he is asking for $663 in Medical, $500 in legal, and over $1000 in lost wages claiming he was unable to work or drive for two weeks (The day of the injury he drove away from my house). I requested detailed medical statements due to him visiting the ER 3 times over two weeks showing that he was there for that reason and not another, pay stubs showing her earned $13/hr as a delivery driver, and a medical statement that he was unable to work during the stated time resulting in lost wages. The response that I received from the lawyer was that the client tried to contact me to pay but that I did not answer (I never received a voicemail), that he attempted to drop a letter off at my house personally twice and that he rang the doorbell (I dont have a doorbell) and that he could tell people were inside but that they would not answer. We are usually out of the house at 8:00am and dont return until 8:30pm most days. That he was not able to provide the detailed summaries and that I needed to contact Advent Health Directly (HIPPA Laws would prohibit them sharing this information with me). Regarding the Pay stubs he said "The owner of New China Wok doesn't provide the paystub for any his employee, but I kept all copy of the pay checks between March and June of 2019 (see the attached). Each month I got a $923.5 check ($1000 after federal tax withheld) plus the average $1100 cash from the delivery tips in March and April , but My May and June paychecks were reduced to $692.40 due to missed work hours. " He provided me with just a check for $923.50 from March but could not produce anything else. And in response to my request for medical documentation stating he was unable to work he said "in term of how many days/hours I missed from work the dog owner could call the owner of New China Wok for verification". Employee Laws should prohibit them from sharing this information with me and also would not provide me with documentation that he was unable to work, it would just verify that he did not work.

I explained that I was happy to pay what is fair but 3 different medical bills, 2 WEEKS of lost wages, and $500 in legal fees seems excessive to me when he cannot even provide me clarifying documentation to support his claims.

I feel as though he is just trying to get money from me at this point. Are they not legally obligated to prove this information?
Why was a four year old allowed to answer the door? What type of dog? Do you have any medical training?
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
They aren't at this point legally obligated to do anything. And neither are you. Once he actually sues you al this will change.

As for HIPAA and some imaginary "Employee Law", both could be overcome with an authorization to release the data from the patient/employee.

And yes he is trying to get money from you. That is the whole point. It may be money you will be found to owe him.

You do have the option of turning this over to your homeowner's insurance carrier and letting them deal with all of it.

OR you could write the lawyer a letter explaining that you may entertain settling this but before you do you will need the following from the guy. And then write a list of the data you want.
 

MolleeZemel

New member
They aren't at this point legally obligated to do anything. And neither are you. Once he actually sues you al this will change.

As for HIPAA and some imaginary "Employee Law", both could be overcome with an authorization to release the data from the patient/employee.

And yes he is trying to get money from you. That is the whole point. It may be money you will be found to owe him.

You do have the option of turning this over to your homeowner's insurance carrier and letting them deal with all of it.

OR you could write the lawyer a letter explaining that you may entertain settling this but before you do you will need the following from the guy. And then write a list of the data you want.
What I asked for from the driver I asked for directly from his lawyer and those were the responses that I received from the lawyer. As someone that has worked in an HR Department, we were not legally able to provide information on our employees to anyone outside of the employee themselves. I would assume that this would be across the board for all.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
They aren't at this point legally obligated to do anything. And neither are you. Once he actually sues you al this will change.

As for HIPAA and some imaginary "Employee Law", both could be overcome with an authorization to release the data from the patient/employee.

And yes he is trying to get money from you. That is the whole point. It may be money you will be found to owe him.

You do have the option of turning this over to your homeowner's insurance carrier and letting them deal with all of it.

OR you could write the lawyer a letter explaining that you may entertain settling this but before you do you will need the following from the guy. And then write a list of the data you want.
I would turn it over to the homeowners insurance.
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
What I asked for from the driver I asked for directly from his lawyer and those were the responses that I received from the lawyer. As someone that has worked in an HR Department, we were not legally able to provide information on our employees to anyone outside of the employee themselves. I would assume that this would be across the board for all.
With a release, they can give you anything the release allows.

And a lot of HR rules are rules employers make up because they think there is a law.

That said, I don't change my suggestion. You have three options.

1. Do the letter I suggested or turn it over your insurance.
2. Pay them what they are asking.
3. Cease contact and wait for them to sue you.
 

FlyingRon

Senior Member
Employers are not covered entities when it comes to their employees just because they provide a health plan.

Bite or claw puncture, you were negligent in allowing your dog to be let loose (yes supervising the toddler is included). Let your homeowner's insurance cover it (or get an attorney). This is not a self-help thing.
 
Florida is a Statutory Strict Liability state for dog bites. Dog bite laws in Florida are very victim-centered. Your negligence caused a dog bite injury. Dog bites carry great risk of infection and many hospitals have mandatory follow up procedures to prevent infection. Based on your story the victim has very little contributing negligence. This will most likely get worse for you and your dog if you take this further. $2,062 is a small sum to make this go away.
 

ALawyer

Senior Member
If you have homeowners insurance, and nearly everyone does, you should have immediately reported it to your carrier and if you have not already done so, you should do so now. Things can get VERY expensive very quickly -- even were you to win the case (and I have grave doubts you would win) -- should the victim hire a real lawyer who files suit against you.
 
I went through something similar. I got some good advice here in this forum, you can look for my thread. I tried to DIY the whole thing by offering to pay medical expenses. They refused and eventually sent a letter from their lawyer demanding $6000. I called the lawyer and again offered to pay medical expenses only. They eventually filed suit against me for $20,000 and I had no choice but to contact my insurance company. My company just settled for $4000, which does not come out of my pocket.
 

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