State of Florida Map YellowA recent tragedy that took place in Jacksonville, Florida on the Buckman Bridge brings out the ripple effect of crashes of this nature.   It has been reported that the family was in Jacksonville, Florida visiting from Pine Bluff Arkansas.  There really are no suitable words to describe the loss of four family members in one automobile accident. Unfortunately, the castastrophe of a deadly automobile – trucking accident happens far too often on Florida roads, highways, and expressways.  The Buckman Bridge, which is a large bridge connecting Jacksonville to Orange Park, has seen its share of accidents including those that involve the wrongful death of adults and children.

Visitors and tourists flock to the State of Florida by the millions every year. We have great weather, attractions, and wonderful residents.  Whether it is a trip to a relative’s house or one to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, there are millions of visitions from outside the State of Florida.   Many of which travel from Southern States including the State of Arkansas.  Case in point, the recent tragic accident on the Buckman Bridge involved four family members (2 adult and 2 children) from Arkansas.  You can read more about the Arkansas family and the “shock” and despair surrounding the aftermath of the crash at Arkansas Family Killed in Florida Vehicle Accident. 

Are the legal rights of the resident of Arkansas any different from the legal rights of Florida residents when there is an automobile accident in the State of Florida?  The simple answer to this question is, “No, not really.”   The answer is qualified a bit because resident of the State of Florida have different insurance requirements for vehicles than residents of other States; however, the legal rights of the victim and / or the victim’s family are the same whether a Florida resident or a non-Florida resident is injured in an automobile accident.

Another question that arises is the following:  Can a lawsuit be filed in the State where the accident victim and / or the accident victim’s family reside if the victim resides in another State other than Florida?  The simple answer to this questions is “No”.  If litigation results from a Florida Automobile Accident, then the action or lawsuit should be filed in the State of Florida in the county where the accident took place.

The book titled – When a Parent’s World Goes From Full to Empty – The Wrongful Death of a Child – What You Need to Know About The Florida Wrongful Death Act is a good resource for parents and family members seeking information on a legal case or claim when a child dies as a result of an automobile accident and other forms of negligence or fault. You can get this book for free at From Full to Empty. Another good resource for parents is the book titled When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What You Need to Know After the Accident.  You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.

Buckman Bridge CrashOn March 2, 2015, there was a crash in Jacksonville Florida that caused the death of four people – two deaths and two children.   The crash took place on the Buckman Brigde which was later shut down.  The ripple effect of this crash was felt throughout the roadways of Duval and Clay County.   Tragically, four people died as a result of this rear end crash involving a semi-tractor trailer and two SUVs – a Chevrolet Tahoe and a Nissan Murano.

The Florida Highway Patrol Released a Media Report following the crash with the following details:

Excerpt from Florida Highway Patrol Media Report

Vehicle 3, a Chevrolet Tahoe, was stopped in the left center lane on I-295 southbound, due to a possible mechanical malfunction. Vehicle 2, a Nissan Murano, was stopped behind the Chevrolet Tahoe. Vehicle 1, a Peterbilt Truck, was traveling behind the Nissan Murano. The Peterbilt failed to stop and collided with the rear of the Murano. The Murano rotated and traveled left after the collision. The Peterbuilt continued traveling southbound and collided with the rear of the Tahoe. The Tahoe was pushed into the concrete barrier wall. and a fire ensued. The Tahoe was quickly engulfed in flames and entrapped the four occupants in the vehicle. All three vehicles came to rest in the left travel lane and left emergency lane. The interstate was closed for several hours due to this crash. No damage to the bridge was identified by FDOT inspectors.

With any Florida Automobile Accident, there are Florida Statutes that apply to the particular facts and circumstances.  There are “rules of the road” that apply and should be followed.  Assessing fault or liability for an accident in the State of Florida can be a complicated matter especially since Florida adopted a comparative fault standard for accidents / crashed.  In other words, more than one driver can be at fault for a crash or accident; however, that does not mean that drivers have to be equally at fault.  For instance, in a particular automobile accident, Driver #1 may be 95 % at fault and Driver #2 would be just 5 % at fault.  Under this scenario, Driver #1 is essentially responsive for the damages and injuries associated with the crash or automobile accident.

When a vehicle stalls or malfunctions to the point of being inoperable, Section 316.072, Florida Statutes, may apply:

316.071, Florida Statutes – Disabled vehicles obstructing traffic.Whenever a vehicle is disabled on any street or highway within the state or for any reason obstructs the regular flow of traffic, the driver shall move the vehicle so as not to obstruct the regular flow of traffic or, if he or she cannot move the vehicle alone, solicit help and move the vehicle so as not to obstruct the regular flow of traffic. Any person failing to comply with the provisions of this section shall be cited for a nonmoving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

For the recent Buckman Bridge accident, it can be quite difficult to impossible to move a stalled vehicle from the roadway especially with traffic zooming by from all sides.  In addition, there may not have been much time between the moment that the vehicle stalled out and the crash itself.   While stalled vehicles in the roadway are not encountered every time that a driver travels from one destination to another, it is certainly foreseeable that this type of incident could happen.  As such, all drivers including commercial truck drivers should be prepared to stop at any time especially in areas in which it is difficult to move a stalled vehice to the side of the road.

The Florida Highway Patrol identified the victims of the crash who died as the following individuals:

Yakel Culclager – Age 36;

Treavis Woods-Sims, Age 18;

Tradeshia Woods-Sims, Age 17; and

Trevion Woods-Franklin, Age 6.

In the English language, there is no word to describe the family members who survive and grieve the death of a child.   A surviving spouse is referred to a widow or widower.  A surviving child of a deceased parent is referred to an orphan; however, no word has ever been originated or used to describe a relative whether it is a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or other family member who survives and grieves the death of a child.  In the scheme of things, it is unnatural and something that a family never recovers one.  When a child dies, there are a number of issues that family members will need to deal with in the aftermath of a crash. The book titled When a Parent’s World Goes from Full to Empty – The Wrongful Death of a Child – What You Need to Know About The Florida Wrongful Death Act. You can get this book for free From Full to Empty.


IFire Rescue Graphic Blue in Squaren Jacksonville and North Florida, there are a number of bridges (large and small) that connect commuters to various areas over and beyond major waterways like the St. Johns River and the Intercoastal.   Once such bridge is the Buckman Bridge.  Construction began on the Buckman Bridge in 1964 and the Buckman Bridge was completed in 1970.  The bridge spans over 16,000 square feet and connects the areas of Mandarin – San Jose (Duval County) to Orange Park (Clay County).

While driving upon any large bridge, there are many safety issues and problems that can arise.  Traffic, congestion, and visibility can be factors that lead to crashes. Another problem inherent in bridge traffic is the inability to pull off the roadway to safety when there is a vehicle approaching that is about to cause a rear end accident.   Tragically, there are crashes upon North Florida bridges that lead to serious personal injuries and even death.  One such crash that took place on March 2, 2015 had the effect of shutting down a major part of Jacksonville / Orange Park traffic because the Buckman Bridge was closed to manage and investigate the crash scene.

Action News and other media outlets reported that a semi-tractor trailer crashed into a SUV just before 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon.  It was reported that the driver of the large commercial tractor trailer noticed that traffic was slowing but was unable to bring his truck to a stop.   This, in turn, led to a rear end type of crash.  Thereafer, the SUV caught on fire and 4 occupants of this SUV died at the crash scene.  It was reported that the 4 crash victims included 2 adults and 2 children. A second SUV was also involved in this Florida Automobile Accident.  The 3 occupants of this vehicle were later treated at a local hospital for non life threatening personal injuries.  You can read more about this Buckman Bridge crash at 4 Dead and 3 Injured in Buckman Bridge Fiery Crash. 

It is especially important for all drivers including commercial truck drivers to follow all applicable Florida traffic regulations espeically when travelling over bridges.  The risks and dangers are just too great to drive in any other manner.  One very important traffic regulations deals with the issue of following too closely.  This statute provides the following:

316.0895 Following too closely.

(1) The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the highway.
Generally, drivers should maintain a safe distance so that a vehicle can be safely stopped without crashing into another vehicle. With respect to the Buckman Bridge, traffic can be stop and go throughout the day and especially in the afternoon hours.  There are inclines and declines to the bridge which at times can make safe braking more difficult.  All of these factors are well known and should be taken into account when a driver determines his or her speed and driving while operating a vehicle upon the Buckman Bridge.
As a Florida Child Injury Lawyer and Child Safety Advocate, I have personally handled a case involving the traffic traffic death of a teenager who was an occupant of a SUV on the Buckman Bridge.  It is a case that has made a lasting imprint upon my life for both the tragedy itself and the impact that it made upon the teenager’s family and the rest of the community.  It was a crash that could have been avoided.
The aftermath of a crash involving a child and other relatives can be quite challenging for the family. There certainly are not any easy answers and the loss is something that no amount of money can ever compensate a person for.   In times of tragedy, family members should seek the help of other family members, friends, neighbors, medical professionals, clergy, and when the time is right a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer with experience handling cases of this nature.
The book titled – When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Need to Know After the Accident – is a good resource to learn more about issues that arise after the accident. The book contains practical information and tips regarding issues like automobile insurance, compensation, settlement, medical treatment, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.  Another excellent free resource is the book – When a Parent’s World Goes From Full to Empty – The Wrongful Death of a Child – What You Need to Know About The Florida Wrongful Death Act.  You can get this book for free at From Full to Empty.


vehicle car keys alarm blackIn, Florida, children of the unfortunate victims of personal injury and even death as a result of an automobile accident.   There are a myriad insurance regulations and traffic laws in the State of Florida.  When you attempt to apply these regulations and laws into an automobile accident fact pattern, things can become quite complicated and confusing.  Furthermore, it should be noted that in many instances insurance claims are challenged and heavily scrutinized by insurance adjusters.  It is often helpful for a parent of an injured child to consult with a Florida Child Injury Lawyer for advice, consultation, and potential representation.   When a child is injured as a result of the negligence or fault of another person, there may be a viable case to pursue on behalf of the child; however, it should be noted that each cases should be evaluated on its own facts and merits.  

Florida has unique laws for automobile accident, insurance claims, and civil cases.  Before speaking to an insurance company, a parent should first speka to a Florida Child Injury Lawyer who can help review the documentation, facts, and circumstances to provide the parent with some needed guidance in moving forward with an insurance clai or case.  Questions that often arise in the situations include but are not limited to the following:

Should I contact the insurance company?

Should I give a statement to the insurance company?

Who is responsible for my child’s medical bills?

What if my child does not have health insurance?

Should I sign any documents provided by the insurance company?

Where should my child seek medical treatment?

Where can my child receive medical treatment?

What rights does my child have to compensation?

What rights do I (as the parent) have to compensation?

Are there time limits to file an insurance claim?

Are there time limits to file a lawsuit?

Will an attorney handle my child’s case on a contigency basis which is essentially a wait to get paid basis?

There are just some of the issues and questions that arise in these situations. If Florida law was merely based on common sense and all insurance companies were willing to compensate a victim for what is sought – then there would not be much of an need for an attorney or advocate on the claim or case. Unfortunately, laws are not based purely on common sense and insurance companies closely evaluated and challenge most claims.  Because of this, a parent and the injured child will be well served by legal representation depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.

The book titled – When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Should Know After the Accident – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Damages and Compensation, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.

Kids Block Spelling Dad As Symbol for Fatherhood And Parenting

In Florida and other States, day care centers and their staff members are responsible for the safety and well-being of the children enrolled in the day care center.  This responsiblity is truly among the most important in our society.  While the pay is not the highest of all occupations, the responsibilities are nonetheless so important.  Most day care centers and their staff members work conscientiously every day to provide for the needs and educational development of the children. There are, however, a number of Florida Day Care Centers that cut corners, employ less than stellar employers, and sadly abuse the very children that the day care center is paid to supervise and protect.   When a day care center abuses or neglects a child under its care, should the Florida Department of Children and Families step in and revoke the day care center’s license?  There is no simple answer to this question.  Like many other legal questions, the answer is “it depends”.  The Florida Department of Children and Families is responsible for the licensure and supervision of day care centers.  When a child is abused or neglected, it should be reported to and investigagted by the Florida Department of Children and Families.  Day care centers in Florida are governed by the Florida Adminstraive Code and other regulation. There is due process to be followed any time that sanctions are sought to be brought against a licensed day care center.  If the child continues to be in danger or there are other children in immiment danger, immediate action should be taken to close down the day care center – at least on a temporary basis – so that a proper investigation can be completed and there is no further harm done to that child or other children.

Whether the Florida Department of Children and Families takes action to shut down the facility or not, the parents of the injured child can still seek out legal advice and representation for the injured child.  The civil case or claim is not dependent on the DCF investigation and findings.  While it would be helpful to have a DCF report filled with helpful statements, evidence, and findings that a child was neglected or abused at the day care center, the DCF does not control the civil case or claim.

In Polk County, Florida, it was reported that the Cypress Oaks School in Winter Haven continues to operate.  The Florida Department of Children and Families previously investigated the facility and issued a fine to the owner. There were discussions of revoking the license; however, the Florida DCF ultimatley decided to allow the day care center to continue to operate as long as it was operated by a different owner.   You can read more about this story at 9 Investigates – Day Care Center Connected to Abuse Allegations Remains Open. 

The book titled – Florida Day Care Center Injuries – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – Building Blocks of Knowledge for Parents – has chapters on Staffing, Incident Reports, Indoor Facilities, Outdoor Facilities, Corporal Punishment, and other topics. You can get this book for free at Florida Day Care Center Injuries.

Van - the Letter VIn the State of Florida, children enrolled in day care centers are often transported to and from the day care center by transporation provided by the day care center or an indepedent school transportation company.  Often, day care center vans are used to transport the children.  Passenger vans – especially the longer and larger vans – at times roll over when involved in automobile accidents in the State of Florida as well as the rest of the United States.  These rollover accidents can and do result in serious personal injuries to the children and as well as the adult occupants of the van.  When a child is injured in a day care center van rollover accident, it is important that the child is properly assessment and evaluated for musculoskeletal injuries, head injuries, internal injuries, and other complications that result from the crash.  The scene at day care center van rollover accidents can be quite disturbing especially when a person sees a day care center van flipped over and resting on the roof of the van.  Several questions or issues come to mind in the wake of a day care center van rollover accident:

How many children were in the van?

What are the manufacturer guidelines for the van as to seating?  seatbelts? other safety features?

What was the speed of the van at the time of the crash?

What was the speed of other vehicles (if any) that were involved in the crash?

Was the day care center van at fault or negligence with respect to the operation or driving of the vehicle?

Were other drivers at fault or negligence with respect to the operation or driving of the other vehicles?

Was the accident or crash avoidable?

Which police agency appeared at the scene of the accident?

Was a citation issued to any of the drivers for causing or contributing to causing the crash or accident?

Who is responsible for the medical bill?

What injuries were sustained by each child?

Were seatbelts available for use on the day care center van?  Were seatbelts in use on the day care center van?

Was the day care center van insured? What insurance benefits are available for the injured child?

Were the other vehicles involved in the crash insured? What insurance benefits are available for the injured child?

There are two good books that are available to parents dealing with the above and other issues.  These books are free. When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Should Know After the Accident – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Day Care Center Transportation, and other topics.  You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning. The book – Florida Day Care Center Injuries – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – Building Blocks of Knowledge for Parents – has chapters on Incident Reports, Emergency Procedures, Transporation, Staffing, and other topics.  You can get this book for free at Florida Day Care Center Injuries.

A recent crash in Jacksonville, Florida is being investigated by local law enforcement. It was reported that 9 children were injured in a day care center van rollover accident.  The large white van was photographed and shown to be flipped over on its roofed and the van was later placed on a flatbed truck and removed from the accident scene. You can read more about this incident at 9 Children Injured in Day Care Center Van Rollover Crash in Jacksonville (Duval County) Florida. 

Pick Up Truck SafetyFlorida is a big state when it comes to the ownership and operation of pick up trucks.  According to a study conducted in 2011, Florida ranked third behind California and Texas for the most pick up trucks in a state.  It is common to see a pick up truck in virtually evey neighborhood and community especially in rural areas.  Jacksonville and the surrounding areas have a particulary large number of pick up trucks as do other parts of the State.  While a pick up truck can be quite useful, the pick up truck can also be quite dangerous especially when children ride in the back of a pick up truck. Due to the dangers of passengers occupying the back or bed of a pick up truck, the Florida Legislature adopted Section 316.2014 – Florida Statues which provides the following:

316.2015 Unlawful for person to ride on exterior of vehicle.

(1) It is unlawful for any operator of a passenger vehicle to permit any person to ride on the bumper, radiator, fender, hood, top, trunk, or running board of such vehicle when operated upon any street or highway which is maintained by the state, county, or municipality. Any person who violates this subsection shall be cited for a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.
(2)(a) No person shall ride on any vehicle upon any portion thereof not designed or intended for the use of passengers. This paragraph does not apply to an employee of a fire department, an employee of a governmentally operated solid waste disposal department or a waste disposal service operating pursuant to a contract with a governmental entity, or to a volunteer firefighter when the employee or firefighter is engaged in the necessary discharge of a duty, and does not apply to a person who is being transported in response to an emergency by a public agency or pursuant to the direction or authority of a public agency. This paragraph does not apply to an employee engaged in the necessary discharge of a duty or to a person or persons riding within truck bodies in space intended for merchandise.
(b) It is unlawful for any operator of a pickup truck or flatbed truck to permit a minor child who has not attained 18 years of age to ride upon limited access facilities of the state within the open body of a pickup truck or flatbed truck unless the minor is restrained within the open body in the back of a truck that has been modified to include secure seating and safety restraints to prevent the passenger from being thrown, falling, or jumping from the truck. This paragraph does not apply in a medical emergency if the child is accompanied within the truck by an adult. A county is exempt from this paragraph if the governing body of the county, by majority vote, following a noticed public hearing, votes to exempt the county from this paragraph.
(c) Any person who violates this subsection shall be cited for a nonmoving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.
(3) This section shall not apply to a performer engaged in a professional exhibition or person participating in an exhibition or parade, or any such person preparing to participate in such exhibitions or parades.
If an owner or driver of a pick up truck allows a person under the age of 18 to ride in the back of a pick up truck, the driver can be cited with a violation.  Furthermore and more importantly, it is just plain dangerous for a driver to allow passengers to occupy the back of a pick up truck.  Of course, the responsiblity for safety goes beyond the driver.  Passengers should also exercise due care when riding in any vehicle.  As such, a passenger also has a duty to act in a safe and reasonable manner.  In Florida, civil cases are governed by comparative fault. In other words, a case can be decided by apportioning fault between parties to determine the amount and extent of compensation.   In cases involving injuries to a child riding in the back of a pick up truck, it is possible that a jury could assess some fault to the pick up truck driver and some fault to the passengers.   Furthermore, it should be noted that driver of a pick up truck has a duty to drive in a safe and reasonable manner especially if there are passengers in the back or bed of the truck.   Another Florida law that bears mention is the concept that a child under the page of 6 years old cannot as a matter of law be held to be negligent in any way for his or her actions.  With children ages 6 and older, negligence can be assessed against the child based on the age, maturity, knowledge, and actions of the child.
A tragic incident was recently reported in the St. Augustine Shores neighborhood in which two children suffered serious head injuries after falling out of the back of a pick up truck. Each injured passenger was transported to UF Health for emergency care, treatment, and evaluation.  It was reported by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office that the two injured teen passengers were students at Pedro Menendez High School located in St. Augustine (St. Johns County) Florida.  You can read more about this incident at Two High School Students Suffer Serious Head Injuries – Pick Up Truck Accident in St. Augustine Shores, Florida.
The book – When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Need to Know After the Accident – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Damages – Compensation, Medical Bills and Insurance, Pedestrian Injuries, Bicycle Injuries, and other topics.  You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning. 

 medical-ambulance-elements-glossy-icon_MyJuphUOIn Florida and the rest of the United States, there are parades and celebrations throughout the year an especially in the months of November and December 2014.  Most parades are wonderful events to participate in and watch; however, at times, these same parades can be the cite of just horrible accidents and incidents leading to serious personal injuires and, in some instances, the tragic death of a child.  As unusual as it may seem, there have been a number of reports of these incidents throughout the years.  Some result due to a lack of safety precautions and some are just “freak” or “unforeseeable” events.  While incidents or accidents that take place during a parade or near a parade are not as common as automobile accidents, the same elements are required to pursue a claim or case for accident related injuries on behalf of the injured child as follows:
1.  Duty.  This refers to to the duty to act in a reasonably safe manner.  For parade events, this includes insuring that equipment, vehicles, and floats are well maintained and in good working order.  This also includes the duty to operate the equipment, vehicles, and floats in a reasonably safe manner.
2. Breach of Duty. This refers to the breach of the aforementioned duties.  This can include the negligent actions or the negligent inactions of the allegedly at fault party, person, or entity.
3. Causation. This is the link between the Breach of Duty and the Damages.
4. Damages. This refers to the personal injuries suffered by the child.
Yes, parades can be great fun if the parades run smoothly and are free from any accidents or injuries. Just recently, a terrible accident / incident took place in Cocoa, Florida.  It was reported by WESH News and other media outlets that a woman, her daughter, and granddaughter suffered injuries as they were watching the Brevard County Toy Run Parade.  A motorcycle crashed into them as spectators at this parade according to information provided by the Cocoa Police Department.  The granddaughter who was just 4 years old was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for evaluation, care, and treatment. You can read more about this incident at Motorcycle Accident Injures Spectators at Annual Abate Toy Motorcycle Run.
The Florida Highway Patrol arrived on the scene to secure the area, to obtain information, and to complete a crash scene investigation.  While the information obtained and reported by the Florida Highway Patrol is important, the findings / conclusions by the Florida Highway Patrol are not binding upon the accident victims or a potential civil case.  In other words, the Florida Highway Patrol officer does not get to be “judge and jury” of a civil case especially if the police officer did not witness the actual accident or incident taking place.   It should be pointed out that the presence of an injury does not by itself prove a case for an injured child. Damages is only one of the four elements as noted above that need to be proved to establish a claim or case on behalf of an injured child.
The book titled When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Need to Know After the Accident – has chapters on Damages / Compensation, Automobile Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Wrongful Death, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.

Halloween Jack O Lantern Child SafetyThis is a very basic and important question to address. What should drivers keep in mind on Halloween?  The key concept to keep in mind is the following: IT’S HALLOWEEN. Yes, this simple statement is the most important thing for drivers to keep in mind on Halloween.  Of course, there is more to driving safely than just merely remembering that it is Halloween.  Halloween is a wonderful and fun holiday; however, it is also a holiday filled with danger especially in residential neighborhoods.   Throughout the day and especially in the evening and night time hours, residential streets and neighborhoods are filled with little ghosts, goblins, super heroes, etc. . . .  Children often do not recognize the dangers of being on or near a street or driver way.  This is especially true on Halloween when it appears that children rule the neighborhood.   With the promised delivery of candy and other goodies, children are so excited on Halloween that they often forget about everything else including the presence of vehicles. Halloween is not a time to merely obey the posted speed limits and road signs.  It is a time to drive well below the speed limits and spend a few extra seconds and minutes to make sure that there are no children or adults for that matter in the way of danger.  If possible, motorists should remain at home or at one location for the duration of Halloween.  If you do not need to go out on Halloween, stay at home and hand out candy and / or watch your favorite television show or movie.  If you drive during Halloween, drive with the utmost of caution especially in residential neighborhoods.  If you are backing out of a driveway or other area, try to get another adult to guide you outside of the vehicle and make sure that children are clear from the area.

Parents of tricker or treaters should escort their children and make sure that they wear bright color clothes, have a flashlight, and otherwise watch out of traffic and vehicles in the neighborhood. Halloween should be a holiday filled with treats and fun.   Watch out for children and trick or treaters of all ages on Halloween.  Remember, IT’S HALLOWEEN.

 

bicycle tricycle purple on white background

In Middleburg, Florida and other Florida communities, there are bicyclists on and near the roads on a daily basis throughout the year.  All drivers should proceed with caution any time that a child is on or near the roadway as a bicyclist or a pedestrian.  When a child suffers serious personal injuries or dies as a result of a bicycle accident or incident, there are a number of issues that can be involved with the aftermath of such a tragedy.  In Florida, legal cases involving children are handled differently than legal cases on behalf of adults.   Because of this, it is important that a parent seek legal counsel from an experienced Florida Child Injury Lawyer.  Here are some of the issues or questions that arise when a child suffers injuries as a result of a bicycle accident:

Was the accident avoidable on the part of the driver?

Did the driver have the opportunity to see the child bicyclist prior to the bicycle accident?

How old was the child at the time of the bicycle accident?

Were there any witnesses to the bicycle accident?

What was the posted speed limit in the area?

What lanes were available to vehicles?  Available to bicyclists?

How did the police report summarize the accident or incident?

Did the driver have liability insurance?

What injuries did the child suffer as a result of the accident?

Was the child wearing a helmet?

Did the child suffer a head injury?

What insurance is available to pay for medical bills?

What insurance is available to pay for funeral expenses?

What insurance is available to compensate the child for pain and suffering?

What insurance is available to compensate the parents for pain and suffering for the heartache of dealing with a significantly injured child or a child who died as a result of a bicycle accident?

The book – When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Need to Know After the Accident – has chapters on the following topics:

Medical Treatment and Personal Injuries

Insurance Issues and Common Questions

Automobile Accidents

School Bus and Day Care Center Transportation Injuries

Pedestrian Injuries

Bicycle Accidents

Wrongful Death

Settlements, Compensation, and Damages

You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.

This book addresses many issues and challenges that a parent faces when a child suffers personal injuries.   Another good resource for parents is the book – When a Parent’s World Goes from Full to Empty – The Wrongful Death of a Child – What You Need to Know About the Florida Wrongful Death Act.  You can get this book for free at From Full to Empty.

It was recently reported by Channel 4 – News4Jax – that a 3 year old child (Blake Carter0 died when he was hit on his bicycle by a 21 year old driver.  It was reported that the driver saw two adult bicyclists and swerved around them but did not see the 3 year old bicyclist.  You can read more about this story at Jacksonville, Florida Bicycle Accident Claims Life of 3 Year Old Boy.  Since this incident involved a death, a full investigation will be conducted by the Florida Highway Patrol and/ or the local police department or sheriff’s office to determine the cause and / or preventability of the incident.   It should be noted that a police investigative report is just one of many factors that are considered when a potential case or claim is reviewed or evaluated by a Florida Child Injury Lawyer.  The conclusions or findings of the police investigation do not necessarily control the civil case.