In the State of Florida, parent rely on day care centers to properly care for and supervise their children during time periods in which there are work and personal commitments that require the use of a day care center. It can be quite disheartening to a parent to work a full day only to pick up a child at a day care center who has been injured, battered, abused, neglected, and / or harmed. It should be noted that a day care center is not an absolute insurer for the safety of a child. In other words, a day care center is not automatically liable for damages every single time that a child is injured at a day care center. In order to establish liability or responsibility on behalf of the day care center, four elements must be established to form the basis of a claim or case against the day care center as follows:
Breach of Duty;
In Jacksonville, Florida and other cities, drivers should be on the look out for pedestrians and bicyclists especially those who are young children. Drivers should slow down in school zones, residential areas, crosswalks, and anywhere else there may be a child pedestrian or child bicyclist. It should be noted that Florida is a comparative fault state. As such, the injured child and / or parents of an injured child can bring a legal action for personal injuries or wrongful death even if the child may have been partially at fault for the incident or accident. It should also be noted that children under the age of 6 years old cannot be held to be negligent or at fault as a matter of law in the State of Florida.
A recent tragedy was reported in Jacksonville, Florida. It was reported that a child was hit by a vehicle while attempting to cross a street with other children at the intersection of A1A and the Wonderwood Connector in Mayport – Jacksonville Florida. It was reported by the local media that the driver continued through the intersection on a yellow light. It was also reported that the child, who ultimately died as a result of the pedestrian – vehicle accident related personal injuries, was in the sixth grade. You can read more about this story at Boy Hit While Crossing the Street in Jacksonville, Florida (Mayport).
The wrongful death of a child has a ripple effect through the family, neighborhood, school, and community. It is heartbreaking for the parents and extended family. It is extremely upsetting for the school. It can be quite a bewildering experience to have a friend / classmate sit in front of a student one day and then never to return because of a tragic pedestrian accident.
In Orange County, Florida and other areas, day care centers are located on or just off of busy streets, highways, and roads. There have been reports across the nation of vehicles crashing into day care centers. It would seem like a rare and odd incident but cars crashing into buildings housing schools and day care centers happens far too frequently. Orange County, Florida is taking measures to help support and encourage day care centers to put barriers in place for the protection of the children, staff, and visitors to the day care center.
A new county ordinance has emerged in Orange County, which requires new daycares to be built with protective barriers. This ordinance follows a tragic occurrence two years ago when four-year old Lily Quintus, died after a vehicle crashed into her daycare. One vehicle hit another causing it to spin out of control and land in a daycare center. Thirteen people, including one adult, were taken to local hospitals with their conditions ranging from minor injuries to critical condition. See More Options in Place to Protect Children at Orange County Day Cares.
Now, newer daycares in the area could be mandated to have barriers in place prior to their opening. The barriers can vary from concrete balls to large, decorative pots. In addition to these barriers, some other precautions day care facilities can take are adding fences. Fences can also play a two-fold role by protecting children from unexpected vehicle accidents as well as from local wanderers. Most day care facilities have playgrounds with children running around outside. For day care facilities near main roads, these fences should be durable enough to protect the children if a car were to hit the fence. Day cares can also create their own rules to make sure children do not cross a certain line or area.
As parents, we do our best to protect our children from harm. As part of regular every day life, children are transported to and from school, sport practices, and other activities. It is common to see children in vehicles before and after school as well during the school day while attending field trips and other school related activities. Unfortunately, there are far too many drivers on the road who fail to pay attention to traffic, road conditions, weather, and, yes, the presence of children in passenger vehicles, school buses, day care center vans, and other vehicles.
When a child is injured as a result of the negligence of another driver, the parents on behalf of the child can pursue a personal injury claim or case. Certainly, as a passenger, there can be no fault attributed to the child passenger; however, it should be noted that only children under the age of 6 years old are immune from being blamed in part or whole for his or her actions. As such, let’s say a 12 year old is a passenger in a vehicle but fails to wear a seatbelt. The 12 year old may be blamed in part for the personal injuries if it can be established that there was an operational seatbelt and that the use of a seatbelt would have prevented the injuries in the entirety. If the seatbelt would have lessened the injuries, then a case or claim can still be pursued. In most instances, a child is wearing a seatbelt and this particular issue is avoided due to the child’s reasonable actions in wearing a seatbelt.
Moving beyond potential seatbelt issues, it is important that the injured child receive immediate care through an emergency room, urgent care center, clinic, or pediatrician’s office. From there, if the child is still experiencing pain and / or other medical complications, follow up care should be sought and obtained on behalf of the injured child. Handling a personal injury case or claim is not an easy task or endeavor. This is especially true when the parent is dealing with the challenges or issues on his or her own without the benefit of legal advice or legal representation. As such, when a child is injured, it is important to consult with a Child Injury Lawyer who can provide the necessary guidance, direction, and, yes, legal representation when the injuries warrant the involvement of an attorney.
In Florida and other States, day care centers should essentially be safe havens for children. Hard working parents deserve the comfort and peace of mind knowing that a child is safe and protected in a day care center. Unfortunately, far too many children are injured in the very places (day care centers / child care centers) where the children should be otherwise in a safe learning environment. In the aftermath of a child injury at a Florida day care center, a parent is faced with many questions, challenges, and stresses. It is at this time that a Florid Child Injury Lawyer can provide some help, guidance, advice, and, when necessary, legal representation. David Wolf has over 26 years of experience. From this first day on the job as an attorney to the present day, he has spent the duration of his entire legal career to the protection and enforcement of the legal rights of children. He is the author of a number of books including the book titled – Florida Day Care Center Injuries – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – Building Blocks of Knowledge for Parents. This book has chapters on Indoor Facilities, Outdoor Facilities, Playgrounds, Staffing, Emergency Procedures, Incident Reports, and other topics. You can get this book for free at Florida Day Care Center Injuries.
When evaluating a potential day care center case, there are four elements to establish:
1 – Duty;