Articles Posted in Playground & Recreation Injuries

Medical%20Symbol%20-%20Care%20for%20Children%20and%20Adults.jpgWhen 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.

Attorney%20-%20Lawyer%20Briefcase.jpgIn the State of Florida, children are the victims of a wide variety negligent and careless supervision and conduct that lead to personal injuries. As a Florida Child Injury Lawyer, I am often asked to speak with parents and review incidents to determine if there is a case to pursue. To pursue a matter on behalf of an injured child, there needs to be what is called a Cause of Action. This refers to the a recognizable claim or case against another party (person, organization, insurance company, business, or government entity). A Cause of Action can be spelled out by Statute. For instance, a dog bite case or cause of action is general spelled out in Chapter 767, Florida Statutes. Dog bite cases are unique in that a Cause of Action can be pursued against a dog owner regardless of the prior aggressiveness of the dog. A dog owner does not necessarily have to be negligent to be liable for the injuries caused by a dog bite. Most other causes of action involving a child injury are governed by general negligence laws and standards which require the presentation and proof of the following elements:

1. Duty;

2. Breach of Duty;

playground%20swings%20with%20buckets%20toddlers%20baby%20day%20time.jpgThroughout the State of Florida, there are playgrounds in most every community. Some are located at public schools, public parks, day care centers, camps, after school centers, community centers, and other areas. As a Florida Child Injury Lawyer, I am often asked the following questions:

What if a Child is Injured While on a Florida Playground?

Is There a Case to Pursue for Compensation?

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At most schools and community centers, there are playgrounds. At some, there are even obstacle courses. On most days, children have fun and enjoy their time outside. With proper supervision and maintenance, playgrounds are great places for children to play. Unfortunately, at times, playgrounds are the sites of serious personal injuries and even the death of a child. There are risks and dangers involved with playground activities. One such danger is the risk of strangulation due to ropes and other areas in which a child’s head may be caught or trapped. There are a number of reasons that a child is injured or or near a playground including improper design of the playground, improper maintenance of the playground, lack of supervision, lack of fencing or enclosure of the playground, and other reasons. It is important that property owners and school administrators maintain and periodically evaluate playground areas to check for items of disrepair or playground equipment that could harm a child during normal use and play. While not every injury or incident is necessarily preventable, all reasonable, necessary, and practical efforts should be taken to make the playground area as safe as possible for children.

A recently tragedy was reported in Jacksonville, Florida. It involved a 10 year old boy who was playing on a rope swing at the Bolles Batram Middle School. It was reported by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office that the boy was at the school while his older brother was at football practice. The incident took place on an obstacle course area. Since the obstracle course was at a middle school, it may have been designed for use of older children than the child who was playing in the area. Prior to the incident at issue, the boy was playing with his sister. She was the first to notice that her brother was unresponsive. See 8 Year Old Boy Suffers Serious Personal Injuries at the Bolles Middle School.

When a child suffers an injury, a parent is often faced with many challenges and issues. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on School Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, Medical Care and Treatment and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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In the State of Florida, children are the unfortunate victims of injuries and accidents on a far too common basis. When an incident takes place at a business, park, playground, hotel, resort, shopping mall, or amusement park, the incident should be reported to a staff member. The parents or adults supervising the child at the time should write down the name write down the name of the staff member and take photos and videos of the scene of the incident if it is practical to do so. Often times, a parent or guardian after an incident takes place will request an incident report. Some businesses and property managers gladly provide an incident report to document that an incident took place. Other businesses and property managers, however, faile to or refuse to provide an incident report. Many businesses will cite the work product privilege as a basis for withholding the distributon of the incident report. In the State of Florida, a business may argue that it has the right to to investigate and collect information regarding an incident in anticipation of litigation.

Because of the complexity of child injury cases, it is advisable to contact the Florida Child Injury Lawyer for advice, consultation, and legal representation. Another point to make regarding incident reports is that when they are provided a parent should be careful about signing the incident report especially if the incident report is written up by the business or property manager The best practice in obtaining incident report may be to refuse to sign off on it but agree to accept a copy of the incident report as written up by the business or property owner. Alternatively, the parent or guardian may sign the incident report and document that the parent or guardian is merely acknowledging receipt of the incident report rather than verifying all relevant facts to the incident itself.

The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Shopping Mall and Business Incidents, Amusement and Theme Park Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

Playground%20Monkey%20Bars%20Close%20Up%20Blue%20Sky%20Danger%20Falls.jpgIn Florida, special needs children at times suffer injuries on playgrounds located at schools, day care centers, parks, and other locations. When a special needs child suffers a personal injury in a playground, a parent is often faced with many challenges in concerns. A number of questions and issues are raised when a special needs child is injured while under the care and supervision of others.

*How was the special needs child injured?

*Could the injuries that were sustained on the playground have been avoided?

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In Daytona Beach (Volusia County), Florida, there was a drowning incident reported involving a 13 year old boy. He was found and pulled from the bottom of the Holiday Inn Hotel pool. Volusia County Fire Rescue reported to the scene and attempted to stabilize the 13 year old boy.

Florida is a popular vacation location for residents and out of State tourists. The weather and local attractions including Daytona Speedway and the beach bring people to the East Coast of Florida. Most vacations are fun filled and a great experience for the children and the rest of the family. Unfortunately, some vacations end with serious personal injuries and / or the wrongful death of a child in the State of Florida.

Many Florida hotel swimming pools are not staffed by a certified lifeguard. Florida law does not require the posting of a certified life guard at all hotel swimming pools. While signs are generally posted in and around the pool and in the lobby, there is little in the way of formal monitoring or supervision to prevent drownings or to provide for the safety of swimmers especially children and teens. You can read more about this story at Teen Drowning Victim Reported in Daytona Beach – Volusia County – Florida. See also Volusia County, Florida – Toddler Drowns in Swimming Pool.
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Child care will become a common experience for the majority of children living in Florida. Many families with children under the age of six have parents that work outside the home. Therefore, in order for parents to be able to work and meet basic economic obligations, child care becomes a vital aspect of daily life. The Florida Legislature has recognized the importance of safety and quality in child care.

The Florida Administrative Code, Rule 65C-22.002- Physical Environment, sets forth requirements that all Florida Day Care Centers are required to follow in regards to their outdoor play areas and playgrounds. The outdoor play area, which should be clean and free of hazards and litter, must be 45 square feet per child in any group using it at a time. The play area should provide shade and must be adequately fenced in accordance with local ordinances to protect children from water hazards nearby such as pools, ditches, and retention or fish ponds. Accidental drownings are the leading cause of death in young children, so it is crucial that all fences do not have any gaps that would allow children to exit the outdoor play area. In addition, the child care faculty must situate themselves in an area where they can properly supervise the children at all times. For more information, see Rule 65C-22.002.

Fun-fair.jpgTeagan Marti made a public appearance recently following a tragic incident that took place in Wisconsin over the summer. This resilient and brave 13 year old is doing her best to deal with serious personal injuries that resulted from inattention, negligence, and carelessness on the park of a Wisconsin amusement park. Teagan has a very supportive family and has received months of medical care to get to where she is medically today. Teagan is texting friends and playing video games. She has made progress and has the spirit and drive to improve but still has a long road ahead of her with these injuries.

Safety is so vital for Amusement Parks and Theme Parks. Otherwise, significant injuries, like those to Teagan Marti, will result. Safety first . . . . safety in the middle . . . and safety last should always be followed for any ride and for every rider. Amusement Parks and Theme Parks welcome children through the doors every day. Children and their families bring in the dollars and expect to have a good time. In addition to entertainment, parents should be provided with a safe environment for their children. Most parents are not engineers or safety experts when it comes to a mechanical ride or attraction. These duties belong to the Amusement Park and Theme Park. Contrary to any signs or attempts to limit liability, Amusement Parks and Theme Parks are liable for the negligence and misconduct of their employees. A child does not enter a ride at his or her own risk. That is a ridiculous argument that is clearly frowned upon by judges, courts, and juries.

You can read more about Teagan Marti, the remarkable teenager, dealing with the significant personal injuries from the Wisconsin amusement park at Girl Who Survived Carnival Ride Makes First Public Appearance.

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Recently, the State of Florida Department of Agriculture released a list of injuries occurring in Florida theme parks so far this year. The list showed 11 visitors to state theme parks had sustained injuries, most of them minor. Also revealed by the Department of Agriculture’s list, was that two new roller coasters were the main cause of rider injuries during the second quarter of the year.

Walt Disney reported 9 injuries from April to June of this year, among them was a 54-year-old man who, after going on Expedition Everest in Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom, had troubled breathing and later had a heart attack. Also, at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, a 36-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman both sustained back pain after going on the theme park’s ride, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.

Under an agreement with the State of Florida, the State’s major theme park operators are required to report details of injuries in exchange for avoiding government ride-safety regulation. If you would like to read more on this story please see Florida’s Department of Agriculture reveals personal injuries sustained at Florida theme parks.
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