During the holiday season and all other times of year, it is important for parents, schools, and day care centers to be aware of the dangers that some toys cause to children. If a child is injured by the use, play, or contact with a toy, the owner of the home, day care center, or school may be held liable if there was an issue with the supervision of the child, if the toy at issue was known to be dangerous, or if the toy was inappropriate for the age and maturity of the child.
Federal safety standards are put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of injuries to children from toys. Even with these standards in place, it is estimated that every three minutes a child is injured by a toy and makes a trip to the emergency room. This equates to approximately 250,000 children going to the emergency room in 2013 alone. In addition, the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission estimated roughly nine children died in 2013 from toy related injuries.
With internet shopping becoming more prevalent, more and more parents are purchasing toys online. A problem with online shopping is that parents are unable to physically view the toys for safety issues and are often unable to read all of the warnings printed on the package. Without the ability to physically see the toy to locate unknown dangers or to read all warnings, parents may be purchasing toys that are not fit for the age and maturity of their child. A lack of knowledge regarding the safety of a toy can lead to serious injuries to children.
In St. Johns County, Florida and the other 66 counties in the State of Florida, children are transported to and from schools in school buses and vans. When there is a crash or accident, children are often injured and require medical care and attention. Some injuries even require the transport by fire rescue and at times by an emergency air lift. When a child suffers personal injuries, parents are faced with the challenges of medical bills, missed school, personal injuries, permanent injuries, and a whole host of other problems. When faced with these issues, it is often helpful to have the guidance, counsel, and legal representation by a qualified Florida Child Injury Lawyer. Some laws and insurance regulations make perfect sense while others do not. Certainly, school districts, schools, and insurance companies are well represented by a panel of attorneys. Because of this, parents should act quickly to get an advocate in place to give a voice for the injured child. Back to the question at hand, who is responsible for the personal injuries suffered by a child when there is a school bus accident or crash?
School District. If the school bus is owned, operated, or retained by a public school district, then the school district could be held liable for the personal injuries and damages IF it can be proved that the bus driver was negligent AND / OR there was negligence involved with the maintenance of the bus that was a contributing cause of the crash.
Private School Bus Company. If the school district contracts out to a private school bus company, the private school bus company may be liable if there was negligent driving OR negligent maintenance that was a contributing cause of the crash. The private school bus company, if hired by a public school district, may be able to avail itself of some of the protections of the school distrct as a public entity. As such, further evaluation and analysis are warranted under these circumstances. If a private school retains the private school bus company, no such protections are afforded the private school bus company.
During the summer months, children attend camp. Some cancer overnight camps. Others are day camps. There are variety of camps in virtually every community needs in the United States. With almost any activity at camp, there is a risk of injury. Unfortunately, some children fracture arms, legs, and other body parts while participating in summer camp related activities. Does this mean that the summer camp is liable or responsible for these injuries? Well, like many legal issues and questions, it depends on the facts or circumstances. Let’s say a child is at a summer camp playing goalie with other children of his size and age group. While attempting to block a ball, the goalie fractures or breaks his arm. The injury took place during a supervised game and was essentially an inherent risk of the game or activity. Under these general facts and circumstances, it would not appear that the summer camp would have any liability for the injuries suffered by the child. When the facts and circumstances are changed a bit, there could be a case or claim to pursue on behalf of the injured child. Let’s say that the goalie is 6 years old. The person taking the shot is a 17 year old counselor in training who happens to be a very good soccer player. The counselor in training takes a very hard shot on this undersized and young goalie. The sheer force of the shot breaks the child’s arm which results in a complicated surgery. Under these general facts, the theory would be that the counselor in training was careless or negligent in taking such a hard shot on goal. It should be noted that very few cases are clear cut one way or the other. In other words, each case should be evaluated on its own particular facts and merits. Furthermore, there is rarely a case in which there is no way to lose the case if it is pursued. Most cases can be and are challenged by the summer camp and the insurance company. A Florida Child Injury Lawyer experienced with these cases should have a good grip as to which cases to take and which cases to turn down. Of course, a Child Injury Lawyer should never guarantee a result.