Summer is typically a great time for a child. School is out and the focus is on fun, sports, and activities. Unfortunately for some children, summer marks a point in time in which a child suffers a serious personal injury in the form of heat exposure, fractures, and other injuries. If a child is injured a a summer camp, there are many issues and challenges to pursue a case or claim against the summer camp. It should be noted that a summer camp is not liable or responsible for every since incident or injury.
A recent tragedy that took place in Jacksonville, Florida on the Buckman Bridge brings out the ripple effect of crashes of this nature. It has been reported that the family was in Jacksonville, Florida visiting from Pine Bluff Arkansas. There really are no suitable words to describe the loss of four family members in one automobile accident. Unfortunately, the castastrophe of a deadly automobile – trucking accident happens far too often on Florida roads, highways, and expressways. The Buckman Bridge, which is a large bridge connecting Jacksonville to Orange Park, has seen its share of accidents including those that involve the wrongful death of adults and children.
Visitors and tourists flock to the State of Florida by the millions every year. We have great weather, attractions, and wonderful residents. Whether it is a trip to a relative’s house or one to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, there are millions of visitions from outside the State of Florida. Many of which travel from Southern States including the State of Arkansas. Case in point, the recent tragic accident on the Buckman Bridge involved four family members (2 adult and 2 children) from Arkansas. You can read more about the Arkansas family and the “shock” and despair surrounding the aftermath of the crash at Arkansas Family Killed in Florida Vehicle Accident.
Are the legal rights of the resident of Arkansas any different from the legal rights of Florida residents when there is an automobile accident in the State of Florida? The simple answer to this question is, “No, not really.” The answer is qualified a bit because resident of the State of Florida have different insurance requirements for vehicles than residents of other States; however, the legal rights of the victim and / or the victim’s family are the same whether a Florida resident or a non-Florida resident is injured in an automobile accident.
In Jacksonville and North Florida, there are a number of bridges (large and small) that connect commuters to various areas over and beyond major waterways like the St. Johns River and the Intercoastal. Once such bridge is the Buckman Bridge. Construction began on the Buckman Bridge in 1964 and the Buckman Bridge was completed in 1970. The bridge spans over 16,000 square feet and connects the areas of Mandarin – San Jose (Duval County) to Orange Park (Clay County).
While driving upon any large bridge, there are many safety issues and problems that can arise. Traffic, congestion, and visibility can be factors that lead to crashes. Another problem inherent in bridge traffic is the inability to pull off the roadway to safety when there is a vehicle approaching that is about to cause a rear end accident. Tragically, there are crashes upon North Florida bridges that lead to serious personal injuries and even death. One such crash that took place on March 2, 2015 had the effect of shutting down a major part of Jacksonville / Orange Park traffic because the Buckman Bridge was closed to manage and investigate the crash scene.
Action News and other media outlets reported that a semi-tractor trailer crashed into a SUV just before 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon. It was reported that the driver of the large commercial tractor trailer noticed that traffic was slowing but was unable to bring his truck to a stop. This, in turn, led to a rear end type of crash. Thereafer, the SUV caught on fire and 4 occupants of this SUV died at the crash scene. It was reported that the 4 crash victims included 2 adults and 2 children. A second SUV was also involved in this Florida Automobile Accident. The 3 occupants of this vehicle were later treated at a local hospital for non life threatening personal injuries. You can read more about this Buckman Bridge crash at 4 Dead and 3 Injured in Buckman Bridge Fiery Crash.
In, Florida, children of the unfortunate victims of personal injury and even death as a result of an automobile accident. There are a myriad insurance regulations and traffic laws in the State of Florida. When you attempt to apply these regulations and laws into an automobile accident fact pattern, things can become quite complicated and confusing. Furthermore, it should be noted that in many instances insurance claims are challenged and heavily scrutinized by insurance adjusters. It is often helpful for a parent of an injured child to consult with a Florida Child Injury Lawyer for advice, consultation, and potential representation. When a child is injured as a result of the negligence or fault of another person, there may be a viable case to pursue on behalf of the child; however, it should be noted that each cases should be evaluated on its own facts and merits.
Florida has unique laws for automobile accident, insurance claims, and civil cases. Before speaking to an insurance company, a parent should first speka to a Florida Child Injury Lawyer who can help review the documentation, facts, and circumstances to provide the parent with some needed guidance in moving forward with an insurance clai or case. Questions that often arise in the situations include but are not limited to the following:
Should I contact the insurance company?
In Florida and other States, day care centers and their staff members are responsible for the safety and well-being of the children enrolled in the day care center. This responsiblity is truly among the most important in our society. While the pay is not the highest of all occupations, the responsibilities are nonetheless so important. Most day care centers and their staff members work conscientiously every day to provide for the needs and educational development of the children. There are, however, a number of Florida Day Care Centers that cut corners, employ less than stellar employers, and sadly abuse the very children that the day care center is paid to supervise and protect. When a day care center abuses or neglects a child under its care, should the Florida Department of Children and Families step in and revoke the day care center’s license? There is no simple answer to this question. Like many other legal questions, the answer is “it depends”. The Florida Department of Children and Families is responsible for the licensure and supervision of day care centers. When a child is abused or neglected, it should be reported to and investigagted by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Day care centers in Florida are governed by the Florida Adminstraive Code and other regulation. There is due process to be followed any time that sanctions are sought to be brought against a licensed day care center. If the child continues to be in danger or there are other children in immiment danger, immediate action should be taken to close down the day care center – at least on a temporary basis – so that a proper investigation can be completed and there is no further harm done to that child or other children.
Whether the Florida Department of Children and Families takes action to shut down the facility or not, the parents of the injured child can still seek out legal advice and representation for the injured child. The civil case or claim is not dependent on the DCF investigation and findings. While it would be helpful to have a DCF report filled with helpful statements, evidence, and findings that a child was neglected or abused at the day care center, the DCF does not control the civil case or claim.
In Polk County, Florida, it was reported that the Cypress Oaks School in Winter Haven continues to operate. The Florida Department of Children and Families previously investigated the facility and issued a fine to the owner. There were discussions of revoking the license; however, the Florida DCF ultimatley decided to allow the day care center to continue to operate as long as it was operated by a different owner. You can read more about this story at 9 Investigates – Day Care Center Connected to Abuse Allegations Remains Open.