What if a Child is Injured at a Holiday or City Parade?

 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.