When a child is injured in an automobile accident, slip and fall accident, day care center, school, theme park, or other location, there are several factors that are considered when valuing a child injury case. It should be pointed out that each child injury case should be evaluated on its own facts and merits. Every child is different. Similarly, every personal injury claim is different. Individual attention should be given to the child’s case by the Florida Personal Injury Attorney, the parent or guardian, and any other individuals involved with assisting a child with the pursuit of damages and compensation for the child injury case. The are various factors that may be considered when valuing a child injury case.
Liability (Fault). Liability refers to the cause of the incident or accident. In Florida, with the exception of a dog bite case, a plaintiff or claimant must prove that the child was injured due the fault or negligence of another person or business. In other words, a person or business failed to do something in a safe manner for the protection of the minor child or alternatively acted in a careless matter that caused the child injuries. With better care and attention, on the part of the at fault person or business, the injuries would have been avoided.
Damages. Damages refer to the losses that are sustained due to the child injuries. Damages can be classified as either Economic Damages or Non-Economic Damages.
An unidentified 23-month-old boy recently fell from a second-floor balcony of a building in Homestead, Florida. The toddler was transported by air rescue to Miami Children’s Hospital where he was listed in serious but stable condition. According to officials, the boy’s father was at a pediatrician’s office located inside the building. The father stepped outside to make a telephone call, and, while he was on the phone, the toddler climbed onto the railing of the balcony and fell onto the pavement below. For more read 23-month-old boy falls from second-story balcony in Homestead, Florida.
Many accidental injuries to children are preventable. Accidental injuries are one of the leading causes of permanent physical impairment, traumatic brain injuries, fractures and other serious personal injuries. Proper, incessant and direct supervision can prevent many accidental injuries.
A Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report indicates that children 4 and younger constitute a high risk group for traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI can result from a sudden blow, trauma, or jolt to the brain. TBI injuries account for approximately 1/3 of all injury or accident related deaths in the United States. For teenagers ranging from the ages of 15 to 19, the mechanism of the injury or the TBI is an automobile accident. For small children, a TBI can result from a fall at home or on a playground. If a child has suffered a TBI, timely medical treatment and intervention is essential. Signs or symptoms that a child has suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) include the following:
drowsiness that is sudden;
problems being alert;
A national movement that aims to legislate how doctors, young athletes and coaches deal with concussion injuries is gaining momentum. At this year’s Super Bowl, taking place in Miami, Florida, Governor Charlie Crist will be announcing plans for a national initiative that would encourage all fifty states to adopt concussion legislation modeled after the Zackery Lystedt Law in Washington State. In 2006, Lystedt suffered a debilitating brain injury at the age of thirteen as a result of being allowed to return to the field too quickly after suffering a sports-related concussion.
The Washington law requires that athletes, parents and coaches receive education about the dangers of concussions, that children be removed from the game if they are suspected of having a concussion, and that children must be cleared by a medical doctor before returning to the sport. Oregon, California and Pennsylvania have adopted similar laws.
While no such law has been introduced in the Florida legislature, Crist’s planned comments at the Super Bowl would indicate that one may be soon. Currently the Florida High School Athletic Association advises trainers to follow the guidelines set forth in the sports medicine handbook of the National Federation of State High School Associations. Find out more about the proposed nationwide effort to protect youth athletes from brain injuries at Congressional forum to tackle concussion issue in NCAA, high schools.
In Boynton Beach, Florida, a 6 year old fell out of a second story window. It was reported at the Florida Times Union that the girl suffered a fractured leg as a result of the fall. She also injured her shoulder and chin. The girl apparently fell through a window screen. Fire Rescue reported that it would have been difficult to prevent such a fall. There have been other falls from windows reported in other States as well. Parents should be careful and exercise caution any time a window is open with or without a screen on the window.
The Associated Press reported an incident that recently took place at Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida. Maikon Bonani, age 20, was working at the theme park at the Skyride Attraction which takes park guests on a gondola ride. Maikon thought that one of the gondola doors was unlocked and held onto the door to check on it. Apparently, he held onto the door as the ride left the platform area. Thereafter, Maikon let go and fell 35 feet into a landscaped area. Maikon was later taken to the hospital.
As an employee or Busch Gardens, Maikon’s medical bills and injuries should be covered by worker’s compensation. In Florida, a worker can recover benefits for an on the job injury even if the injuries were caused by the acts of the employee. From news reports, it is uncertain what safety precautions were in place to prevent an injury of this nature.
The circumstances regarding the injury were released by Busch Gardens. You can read more about this story at USF Football Player Injured After 35 Foot Fall at Busch Gardens.
As we count down the days to summer, more and more children are spending more time outdoors playing in neighborhoods and local parks. The Florida Department of Health and Safe Kids Florida, a non profit organization, are advising parents and caregivers to be on the look out for safety hazards to children. Tragically, over 400 children under the age of 14 died from unintentional injuries in 2007. Another 6000 children were hospitalized due to unintentional injuries.
Some of the most serious injuries to children include spinal cord injuries. Many, but not all, of these injuries could have been prevented with safety precautions by parents, caregivers, as well as children.
Some basic measure that parents and caregivers can and should implement are the following: