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.

 

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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.

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Florida summers are just plain hot. When a high school or club runs football practice in August, there are risks of heat exertion injuries and even death to young athletes. Football is well known in the State of Florida as a sport that traditionally involves rigorous practices and training to build stamina and champions. Yes, it is an uber competitive sport. Coaches, parents, school officials, other students, fans, and yes the players add to the fervor to play hard and win. Unfortunately, at times, this fervor to win and compete can lead to disasastous consequences in the form of heat exertion, heat stroke, hyperthermia, and, yes, death.

The focus on high school sports should be on safety first, sportsmanship, and then competition. Of course, there are many who will oppose such a statement or viewpoint. Certainly, some injuries and even deaths are unpredictable and unpreventable. However, every step and safety measure should be taken by schools and clubs to protect our children engaged in high school football training and conditioning. Building champions can and does at times cost the lives of children trying to prove their worth and value to a team.

Athletic trainers, therapists, and medical providers should be an integral part of every single high school practice and conditional program. Written policies and plans should be put in a place. Coaches should be in high alert for environment conditions and physiological symptoms that can put a student athlete also known as a “child” at risk for serious personal injury or death. One good starting point is a position statement / research paper published by the National Institute of Health titled National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Exertional Heat Illnesses

Practice and training plans for summer football as well as football during other parts of the year should begin with a review of this and other articles. There is a certain focus on the play book for football programs rather than the safety and welfare of children. It is quite easy for a football program to brag about a regional or state championship. It would be refreshing to see a football program that brags about its dedication to the education and safety of the children as primary goals of the program.

If you have a child enrolled in a football program, find out up from the training regimen, the safety precautions in place, the written policies and procedures, the safety and medical equipment available, the history of the program, and other information.

The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Sports Related Injuries, Medical Treatment and Insurance, School Injuries, Attraction and Theme Park Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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In Florida and other States, parents rely on day care centers to provide for the safety and early education of their children. The presence of swimming pool can be a wonderful benefit for the children enrolled in the day care center. Activities can be organized in and around the pool. The swimming pool can be a source of great fun but it can also be a source of risk and danger for the children. Because of this, it is vital that a day care center have written rules and policies for swim related activities and safety in and around the pool. Small children often have poor safety judgment. This is especially true in and around swimming pools. When there is a lack of safety precautions and / or supervision, a child can easily slip away and end up helpless in a swimming pool.

Day care centers should not leave things to chance. A pool barrier should be erected and secure. Furthermore, all exit doors to swimming pool areas should be secure and when available should have door alarms in place. Make sure that the pool barriers are frequently inspected and maintained by professionals. A parent with a child enrolled in a day care center with a swimming pool should ask to review the policies and get a walk through of the swimming pool area and safety precautions.

The owner of a day care center should follow all State and local rules and regulations for day care centers and swimming pools. Documentation should be in place and all staff members should be duly trained in aquatic safety and CPR. If these suggestions are too onerous for a day care center, then the owners of the day care center should consider closing down the pool before a tragedy takes place. It is better for a day care center to be prepared than for a day care center to make headlines that a child drowned while under the supervision and watch of a day care center.

The book – Florida Day Care Center Injuries – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – Building Blocks of Knowledge for Parents - has chapters on Indoor Facilities, Outdoor Facilities, Playgrounds, Emergency Procedures, and other topics. You can get this book for free at Florida Day Care Center Injuries.

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When a parent loses a child due to the negligent acts of another person, there is no adequate compensation for a parent grieving the death of the child. Ask a parent the following question: How much does your child mean to you? The answer to this question varies but rarely includes a dollar figure. Many parents would say that a child means everything or that the child means the world. That certain bond between parent and child is expected is last the parent’s lifetime. Some may say that it is only natural that the child outlive the parent. That is the natural course of things and life. When a child dies before a parent especially when a young child outlives a parent, it is unnatural. It is unsettling. When a child dies, it is both tragic and unsettling for the surviving parents. It is not only tragic for the moment but for the rest of the parent’s lifetime.

In Florida, the law controlling damages or compensation for the death of a person including that of a child is governed by Chapter 768, Florida Statutes which contains the Florida Wrongful Death Act. Through this statute and related case law, there is a framework in place that governs the award and assessment of damages. While there is a framework, there is no formula per se when dealing with the death of a person or a child due to the negligence of another person business, or government entity.

While there is no formula for the exact award of compensation for a grieving parent, there are a few concepts to keep in mind:

1. A minor child, as defined by the Florida Wrongful Death Act, is a child under the age of 25 years old.

2. Damages are based on the joint expected life expectancy of the child and the parent. In other words, it is based on the time period that the parent and child would have lived together and not on the life expectancy of the child.

3. The pain and suffering of the child are not compensable damages in a Florida Wrongful Death case.

4. There are no limits to damages or compensation unless the case involves medical malpractice and / or a government entity.

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 – has chapters on Damages – Compensation, the Basics of the Florida Wrongful Death Act, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When a Parent’s World Goes From Full to Empty.

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During the summer months, day camps and overnight camps have a responsibility to provide for a safe and nurturing environment for children. For most children, summer time is filled with fun, laughter, and time well spent with friends. For some children, summer is the mark in time when a serious personal injury takes place at a summer camp. For some children tragically, it is their last summer due to an incident or accident that takes place at a summer camp. If a child dies at a Florida summer camp, a parent may be able to bring a cause of action for the death of the child. It should be noted that a summer camp is not liable for every incident, injury, or death it takes place on the grounds of the summer camp or during activities and field trips off the property of the summer camp but supervised by the summer camp staff and management. Like other legal cases, a summer camp may be liable for personal injuries or death of a child if the following elements can be established:

1. Duty;

2. Breach of Duty;

3. Causation; and

4. Damages.

If a child dies as result of the negligence or fault of a summer camp, what cause of action does a parent have against a Florida summer camp? Chapter, 768 of the Florida Statute covers cases known as wrongful death cases including those related to the death of a child at a school, day care center, summer camp, or other location. Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, a parent is considered a survivor of a child who dies as a result of the fault of another person, business, or government entity. A parent can be a survivor even if there was no marriage of the parents prior to the death of the child, regardless if there was a divorce, and regardless of the extent of the parent – child relationship. A parent can seek damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of the compansionshop and services of the child.

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 – has chapters on Damages – Compensation, the Basics of the Florida Wrongful Death Act, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When a Parent’s World Goes From Full to Empty.

A summer camp has a duty of reasonable care with respect to children engaged summer camp related activities including but not limited to swimming, aquatic, canoeing, rafting, sports related activities, arts and crafts, hiking, biking, camping and other activities organized and supervised by summer camp. Safety should be a primary pillar of the foundation of every summer camp in Florida and other states. Another pillar of the foundation of the summer camp should be the best interest of the children. When a summer camp focuses on safety and the best interest of children, many incidents that results personal injuries or death can be prevented.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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When a person suffers personal injuries as a result of an automobile accident in the State of Florida, there are often questions as to the Florida laws that apply to potential case or claim for personal injuries. This is a fairly broad topic that can be covered in multiple book volumes. When a person suffers injuries as a result of an automobile accident, a personal injury victim faces the challenges of medical bills, medical treatment, pain and suffering and other problems.

An injury victim should not be put to the should not be put to the task of reading and trying to understand multiple books to educate himself or herself as to the respective rights involving a Florida Automobile Accident. However, it is helpful for a injury victim to have some basic information following an automobile accident so that the injury victim can make informed decisions as to medical care and treatment, payment of medical bills, continuation of employment, lost wages, and other decisions. Making initial decisions as to medical treatment and legal representation are two of many decisions or challenges that an injury vicitm will need to make following an automobile accident. Therefater, an injury victim will need to decide about ongoing treatment, treatment with specialist, pain management treatment, surgical decisions, the filing of a lawsuit, settlement, and possibly a trial over ther merits of the case and the entitlement to compensation for the accident related injuries.

There are a number of laws that apply to Florida automobile accident matters. A good reference starting point for an injury victim may be a review of the applicable Florida Statutes dealing with insurance laws and automobile accident laws. Chapter 627, Florida Statutes covers major aspects of Florida automobile insurance laws while Chapter 316, Florida covers the rules of the rule, traffic regulations, and related topics. Reading these Statutes and other may be a daunting task for an injury victim. It is far better and easier in most instances to consult with a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer about the applicable laws in place and how the laws apply to a particular case or set of facths.

Florida laws can be quite confusing as they pertain to these topics as well as the applicable time, notice, and documentation requirements to adequately pursue a claim or a lawsuit. A good and easy to understand book is titled - When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Need to Know After the Accident. This book ha chapters on Damages – Compensation, Automobile Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Insurance Laws and Common Questions, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.

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Florida is known as the Sunshine State. It is a State that boast wonderful beaches and friendly residents. Year round, Florida’s weather is great for outdoor activities, sports, and recreation. It is a both a vacation destination and retirement destination for many. With the warm weather, there is something else that Florida has its share of — that is hot car deaths, hyperthermia, and heat stroke. This is especially true for our children including but not limited to toddlers and infants. Unfortunately, some parents and child care providers underestimate the power and dangers of Florida’s weather and heat. The impact of Florida’s sunshine is sometimes realized too late by some in the aftermath of a serious personal injury to death to a child. Most people realize that a vehicle with the air conditioning turned off would be dangerous in 100 plus degree weather. Other, many underestimate the dangers of even weather in the 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s, and even 50s when it comes to heat stroke. It has been reported that even 57 degree weather can result in heat stroke for a child left unattended in a vehicle with no air conditioning.

Here are some facts and information to keep in mind and to tell others about. Top of mind safety awareness is important for the health and welfare of children residing in or visiting the State of Florida.

*The inside of a vehicle can heat up by 20 degrees in 10 minutes.

*A child’s body reacts differently to warm – hot weather than that of an adult body.

*Heat stroke can occur inside a vehicle even with the outside weather in the 50s.

*It is a criminal offense in the State of Florida to leave a child unattended in a vehicle with or without the air conditioning on.

*An average of 38 children die every year from heat stroke as a result of being left unatended in a closed vehicle.

The St. Augustine Record reported on these and other facts at Officials Warn Drivers of Heat Stroke in Closed Vehicles.

In addition to criminal charges, a civil case or lawsuit can be brought against a child care provider and / or day care center for the negligence of leaving a child unattended in a vehicle. Each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances; however, there is not much of a viable excuse that a day care provider can raise if the day care provider leaves a child unattended in a van, bus, or vehicle. A simple roll call, checklist, and visual and physical sweep of the vehicle would avoid a child being left behind just about every time.

If a child is injured while under the care of a school, day care provider, child care provider, or summer camp, it is often helpful to discuss the incident or situation with a Florida Child Injury Lawyer. It is also helpful to have some resources available like books on topic to review. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury. Another good resource is the book titled - When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Need to Know After the Accident. This book has chapters on Insurance Issues & General Questions, School / Day Care Transporation Injuries, Settlement – Compensation – Damages, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.

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When child is injured in a car accident, playground accident, school accident, day care accident, or other incident, a parent is often faced with many challenges. One such relates to medical care and treatment for the injured child. If the child is covered by health insurance, then there should be a wide variety of medical providers for treatment If the child was injured in an automobile accident, bicycle accident, or pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle, then there should be the PIP or personal injury protection coverage available for accident related treatment.

When a child is injured but there is no available medical or automobile related insurance, then it can be quite a challenge to obtain medical treatment for an injured child. One would think that the at fault-person, company, or government agency would step in and pay medical bills caused through the fault of party or entity causing the injuryt. This does happen in some instances. However in many instances, a parent is put to task to find medical treatment and sources for payment of the same during the while it claim cases pending.

In most communities, there are a special group medical providers who understand the financial challenges of medical care and treatment following an accident or incident. These medical providers will provide treatment on a “wait to get paid” basis provided that there is a viable case or claim to pursue and there is some likelihood of recovery compensation for the medical bills and other damages.

There are instances in which the medical provider including but not limited to a public hospital will provide medical care on a charity and / or financial hardship basis. When a child has medical insurance in place, there are insurance provider lists and websites available showing the In Network medical providers who will accept the health insurance payments. However, in situations where there is no health insurance, it is difficult to determine which doctors accept automobilel insurance and even more difficult to determine which doctors will accept payment or future payment on a “wait to get paid” basis. When a child is injured due to these and other challenges, it is often helpful for a parent to seek help from a Florida Child Injury Lawyer for advice, guidance, and legal representation when necessary. A Florida Child Injury Lawyer can advise the parent as to the resources and medical providers available in the community for medical care and treatment and how each available provider acceptxs payment and works with the parent as to ongoing medical care.

The book titled When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Need to Know After the Accident. This book has chapters on Medical Treatment & Personal Injuries, Insurance Issues and General Questions, Automobile Accidents, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.

Another good resource for parent is the book – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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Disney World is a major attraction in Orlando, Florida. It is known worldwide as a place “Where Dreams Come True”. There is certainly something magical and special about Disney World and all of the wonderful characters, rides, and attractions at the Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Dowtown Disney, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Complex, and Disney’s Boardwalk. Due to the shear size of Disney World and all of its attractions, properties, hotels, restaurants, and water parks, injuries to both adults and children are bound to happen. With any kind of physical activity, there is always a risk of injury which then presents the following question:

Is Disney World Orlando Liable for All Injuries that Take Place at the Park?

The simple answer is “No”. The reason that the answer is simple is because of the use of the word – ALL – in the question above. Disney is not an insurer or guarantor that injuries will never happen on its properties. For instance, let’s assume that a guest is walking down Main Street and twists her ankle. Soon thereafter, the ankle begins to swell and she gets some assistance from the Disney staff in the form of a wheelchair and an ice pack. Is Disney responsible for this incident? Let’s put in a few additional facts. The guest was merely walking down Main Street which was clean, level, and free from any hidden or not do hidden hazards or obstacles. The ankle of the guest twisted through no fault whatsover of Disney. Under this fact scenario, Disney would not be legally responsible for the injuries, bills, or pain and suffering.

Here is a different scenario. A child enters a ride and is cut by a sharp piece of metal that was worn and rusted. The child required eight stitches at a local emergency room and will have a scar across her knee. The child entered the ride as instructed and did nothing to cause or contribute to this the incident or injury. Under this fact pattern, there may be a viable case or cause of action to pursue against Disney for the failure to inspect and properly maintain the ride. The elements of a negligence case, under this fact pattern, may be established: 1. Duty; 2. Breach of Duty; 3. Causation; and 4. Damages. Of course, there are no guarantees of a result on any particular case. Many such cases settle while others proceed to trial and are left to the judge and / or jury to decide the issues of contention.

Disney is a very large and powerful corporation. While Disney puts the resources and funds in to maintain its parks, incidents (that could have been prevented with better supervision and maintenance) still take place from time to time. An injury victim or the parent of an injury victim if the victim is a child should contact a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer for guidance, direction, and legal representation when necessary when there is an injury that takes place at Disney property or another location. It is important to know the legal rights of the injury victim especially if the victim is a child. As noted by the examples set forth in this article, not every injury turns out to be a case. As such, it is helpful to get advice from an attorney as the the rights of the injured child and the legal responsibilities of the property owner.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Attraction and Theme Park Injuries, Shopping Center and Mall Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.