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TKenney, Ph.D.
TKenney, Ph.D., French Attorney (Avocat à la Cour)
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 831
Experience:  Practicing law in France, 10+ years of experience on Paris Bar. Taught French Business Law in US
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Dear All, Please provide me an advise if I can claim compensation

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Dear All,

Please provide me an advise if I can claim compensation from hotel for accident happened with my son during staying in hotel. We are staying now at Royal Talasso barrier hotel in La Baule. On May 5 we took bicycle provided by hotel to their client. This bicycle contained special seat for children on the back of adult bicycle. It looks like chair model was old and did not contain special leg protection. After we started movement child' leg fallen into wheel and was seriously damaged. We spent a day in the hospital and now my son (5 years old) can move on disable chair only (it may last up to month). Every day nursary visit is required. We pay all medical expenses and had to change tickes back to Ukraine. Please advice if we can claim compensation from hotel for this accident. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX

TKenney, Ph.D. :

Hello, What you are going to have to do is make a claim against the hotel. Send them a registered (with signed acknowlegement of receipt - in French " lettre recomandée avec accusé de réception) with your account of the facts, copies of all your expensenses, and a list of your claims. It will not be easy and it can become a very long legal battle. According to what you wrote, it appears that you have a case, if you have evidence. However, I have not seen any of your evidence so I can not say if you have a good case. If the matter is not settled out of court, then you will have to take the matter before a French judge. There will not be a jury trial in France. A French jugde will base his/her decision on your evidence. Depending on the amount you will be seeking, you may need a lawyer.

Customer: Thank you for clarification. Could you clarify what evidence could be considered by court or judge as sufficient? The accident happens closed to hotel, emergency was call by hotel staff and we have medical report of treatment. We did not make any photos at the moment of accident as son really suffered and where were a lot of blood to be stopped. Regards, Svetlana
TKenney, Ph.D. :

Evidence can be witness statements, pertinent documents, pictures, videos, receipts, bills, proof of payment, medical statements, etc (list non exhaustive).

TKenney, Ph.D. :

You will especially need to prove that the hotel was at fault.

TKenney, Ph.D. :

Evidence is very hard to collect and provide to the court in civil court matters. For example, the ; hotel workers may not be willing to write out a witness statement. They may fear being laid off. In French law, no one can not be forced to be a witness.

TKenney, Ph.D. :

A French judge could order more information (even an investigation) which could mean forcing the hotel workers to appear in court to answer questions. However this is very rare in French civil cases. The hotel can even withhold information and obstruct justice. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff not the defendant.

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