Articles Tagged with personal injuries

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The tragedy of a child being injured or killed is one that cannot be overlooked and impacts communities on a large scale. All around the country, especially in major cities, there are many busy roads filled with pedestrians, including children, and vehicles being driven by distracted drivers. Adult pedestrians and children alike often need to cross the street in order to arrive at their desired destination, and while many use the nearest crosswalk, sometimes circumstances arise (either because there is not one present or it is far out of the way for the pedestrian, to name a couple) which result in the individual crossing the street where there is not a designated crosswalk. This can also be the case, if not more so the case, in smaller cities or residential areas where children are present. This is common because children may feel more comfortable or safer crossing the street without a crosswalk in their own neighborhood, whether it is because of lack of traffic or simply just level of comfort around their residence. When a pedestrian is injured in a crosswalk or in another part of the street due to the negligence or inattention of a driver, there is a ripple effect through the family, neighborhood, and the community. Certainly, crosswalks serve a purpose in delineating the area, warning motorists, and providing a seemingly safe passage across the street; however, the fact remains that all drivers should be watchful of pedestrians especially those who are children and often lack safety awareness and at times common sense.

Based in Jacksonville, Florida, David Wolf, a partner with the law firm of Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A., is a child injury attorney who handles automobile accidents, bicycle accidents, trucking accidents, and, yes, pedestrian accidents throughout the State of Florida. The pursuit of a case will depend on a number of legal and practical factors. With over 26 years of experience, David Wolf can provide guidance, advice, and when appropriate legal representation in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident. Contact David Wolf today for a Free Consultation.

Drivers need to pay full attention to the road and their surroundings, slowing down near crosswalks and school zones as well as residential areas, undistracted. The tragedy of a child being hit by a vehicle while crossing the street will leave the family, friends, and community of the child shocked and devastated, to say the least. Just one telephone call, one text message, or one Facebook post (all of which typically have little importance) can result in serious personal injuries and even the death of a pedestrian.

https://www.floridachildinjurylawyer.com/files/2017/05/Day-Care-Center-Book-Graphic.001-150x150.jpegIn the State of Florida, parent rely on day care centers to properly care for and supervise their children during time periods in which there are work and personal commitments that require the use of a day care center.  It can be quite disheartening to a parent to work a full day only to pick up a child at a day care center who has been injured, battered, abused, neglected, and / or harmed.  It should be noted that a day care center is not an absolute insurer for the safety of a child.  In other words, a day care center is not automatically liable for damages every single time that a child is injured at a day care center.  In order to establish liability or responsibility on behalf of the day care center, four elements must be established to form the basis of a claim or case against the day care center as follows:

Duty;

Breach of Duty;

Stop Sign Negligence.001A Stop Sign is posted due to he traffic pattern and flow in a particular geographic area. It should also be noted that there should not be any ambiguities or doubts as to the purpose and function of a Stop Sign. Furthermore, it is clear that once a driver stops at a Stop Sign – he or she should diligently be on the look out for other traffic and then take whatever time is necessary to safely proceed through the intersection at issue. In Florida and other States, many automobile accidents occur due to the failure to obey speed limits and traffic signage. There is also a significant problem with Distracted Driving due to mobile phone use, Web Browsing, and Text Messaging.  Many lives can be saved and many personal injuries due to Florida Automobile Accidents can be avoided by simply obeying and following the traffic signage like a Stop Sign and by being more attentive to traffic and weather conditions.

It was recently reported in Hastings, St. Johns County, Florida that four people were transported to a hospital.  The intial news and media reports indicated that a pick up truck driver ran a stop sign.  Due to fact that a death and serious personal injuries resulted from this Florida Automobile Accident, a full investigation including a Traffic Homicide Report will be completed by local law enforcement officials and / or the Florida Highway Patrol.   Certainly, any time that a person dies as a result of a Florida Automobile Accident – it is tragic.  Even more so if it is determined that that the automobile accident was avoidable with more attentive driving.  It should be noted that with more attentive driving and patience – many such Florida motor vehicle crashes can be avoided.

When there is a motor vehicle crash, the personal injury victims are faced with a number of challenges and issues.  It is important that the victims and families get support from their extended family, the neighborhood, churches and religious institutions, and others.  The injury victims and families certainly deserve compassion in this time of need following a horrific traffic crash. It is also important for the injury victims and families to have legal representation early on in the process.

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Many automobile accidents in the State of Florida as well as the rest of the country result from a rear end crash or collision.  In most crashes, the driver, who crashed into the vehicle in front of him or her, is at fault.  There are some exceptions to this general rule if there is a sudden and abrupt stop by the vehicle in front.  Section 316.0895, Florida Statutes – Following Too Closely provides that driver’s shall not follow another motor vehicle more closely than is reasonably prudent.  On Florida streets, highways, and roads, drivers should have due regard of the speed of other vehicles, traffic, road conditions, and weather when driving behind other vehicles and / or when approaching other vehicles.

Some may believe that once a rear end crash is essentially an open and shut case.  The automobile insurance company will recognize and admit liability and responsibility for damages to the vehicle that was rear ended and admit liability and responsibility for the injuries to the driver and passengers who were occupying the vehicle that was rear ended.  The truth is that automobile insurance companies scrutinize every part of a claim or case including the cause and details of the crash, the extent of the impact or the force of the impact, the relationship of the crash to the injuries complained of, the age of the injury victim, the prior medical history and condition of the injury victim, the reasonableness and necessity of the medical care provided, the finding of the treating medical providers, the finding of the treating radiologist, and the reports of the treating medical providers.  Florida law provides that it is the burden of the injury victim to prove by the preponderance of the evidence all elements of a personal injury case which are as follows:
  1. Duty;

Swimming Pool - Drowning and Personal Injuries
In Florida, swimming, boating, and aquatic activities are essentially year round activities.  This is especially true during the spring and summer seasons.   According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 people die every day from drowning related incidents. Children under the age of 14 account for 2 out of the 10 deaths.  It is reported that drowning is the 5th leading cause of unintentional deaths in the United States.

Despite these risks and disturbing statistics, drowning incidents continue and unfortunately will continue through the rest of the 2016 year including the summer season.  Can a case or claim be pursued on behalf of an injured child OR on behalf of the parents of a child who dies as a result of a drowning incident?  Like many legal questions, it depends on the facts and circumstances.  It also depends on the practicalities associated with liability insurance coverage and other matters.
Like other personal injury cases in the State of Florida, there are four essential elements associated with a drowning case:

School Bus CrashIn the State of Florida, millions of students are transported via school bus on a daily basis.  The typical school bus is yellow or orange in color and clearly visible to all other drivers on the roadway.   When there is a school bus on the roadway, other drivers should pay due care and drive safely.  Of course, this is simple common sense; however, it is important to stress the importance of driving carefully when driving near school buses.  Our most precious “cargo” is on board in the form of school aged students.  At times, there are crashes involving two or more school buses who are following each other on a school outing or during a transportation run. When school buses collide, the force can be quite intense and personal injuries can and do result from these crashes.  There is no immunity per se from liability for school districts for the negligence of a school bus driver.  This should not be confused with the legal term – “Sovereign Immunity”.  When a person reads the term “Sovereign Immunity”, one may get the idea that a claim or case cannot under any circumstances be pursued against a government entity.  The truth of the matter is that a case or claim can be pursued against a government entity like a school district when there is a school bus crash that is the fault of a school bus driver.  “Sovereign Immunity”  only means that there are certain notices and procedures to follow when pursuing a case or claim against a government entity.  For instance, there is a required formal – technical 6 month notice that is required to be given to the school district.  Furthermore, there are limitations as to the amount of compensation that can be recovered and there are restrictions or limitations on the attorney fees that can be charged by a Florida Child Injury Lawyer representing the injured child.

In Clay County – Middleburg – Florida, there was a reported crash involving 3 school buses.  It was a rear end type of crash.  It was reported that 100 students were being transported with approximately 23 or so being transported and treated at a local hospital. Initial reports indicate that the first two buses stopped or were stopping when the third bus crashed into the second bus which was then pushed into the first bus.  The parents of the children injured in this Clay County school bus accident will be faced with the challenge of dealing with the child’s medical bills, the medical treatment, and the personal injuries in the aftermath of the crash.  Even though the children were on a school bus, there may be benefits available to the child under a parent’s or resident relative’s insurance policy.  Furthermore, there may be limitations as to the total amount of compensation available to the injury victims who seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.
David A. Wolf is an attorney with over 25 years of experience in handling child injury cases including school bus crashes.  He understands the importance of advocating for the injured child and providing the parents with timely and practical legal advice in the aftermath of a school bus crash or other incident causing personal injuries.  He is the author of 5 books including the book titled – When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Need to Know After the Accident.  The book covers issues including but not limited to medical bills, medical treatment, settlement and value of cases, automobile insurance, and other topics.  You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.  David Wolf prides himself on his work ethic and availability to his clients and prospective clients days, nights, and weekends.  If you have a case or claim to discuss with David A. Wolf, contact him right now and see him go into action for you. He provides a FREE CONSULTATION on all injury cases. David A. Wolf handles personal injury cases including child injury cases on a contingency basis. In other words, if there is no financial recovery, there are no fees or costs charged by David A. Wolf.

Pedestrian Crossing Sign - Child InjuryIn the State of Florida, the law classifies a motor vehicle as a dangerous instrumentality.  As such, the owner of a vehicle is liable for the negligent driving of the driver under the Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine.  This same set of laws makes a company liable for the driving of an employee given permission to drive a company vehicle.  In the State of Florida and other States, there is a danger that exists in every community.  Negligent driving in the form of distracted driving leads to far too many crashes and accidents which cause injuries to children and even the wrongful death of children.  Distracted driving presents itself in different forms forms including but not limited to mobile phone use, texting, e-mailing, reading e-mails or texts, eating, drinking, smoking, dropping items, picking up items, etc. . . . Any action that takes away from the job at hand – driving the motor vehicle – can be classified as distracted driving.

In Hernando County, Florida, it was recently reported that a child pedestrian died when the child was struck by a motor vehicle.  It was reported that the driver of a Jaguar got distracted after dropping a cigarette while operating the motor vehicle.  Since a death resulted form a motor vehicle type of accident, the Florida Highway Patrol will complete a full investigation and later release a report as to its findings including the estimated speed of the vehicle, distance measurements, fault, and preventability of the incident.

The death of a child due to the negligence of others is a tragedy.  A young life ended way too early from an event or incident that was preventable.  Certainly, accidents happen.  However, it is truly a shame when a child dies from an automobile, bicycle, or pedestrian accident through no fault of the child or her parents.  As parents, we work tirelessly through each day with the goals of providing for our children, of protecting for our children, and, yes, of keeping our children safe.

Pedestrian Crossing Sign - Child SafetyWhen a child or adult is injured as a result of a Florida Automobile Accident, there are many challenges presented including but not limited to the payment of medical bills.   Let’s say that a child or an adult is walking across the street and then is hit by a driver who was not paying attention.  The injured pedestrian suffered a fractured leg and other injuries.  The driver was 100 % at fault for the crash as a result of looking down at a text message as the driver approached a red light.  Under this fact scenario, one would assume that the at-fault driver would be liable or on the hook for all of the medical bills and related damages.  Under Florida law, this is not the case if the injured pedestrian owned a vehicle OR if the injured pedestrian resided with a relative who owned a vehicle.  PIP (Personal Injury Protection) under a Florida Automobile Insurance Policy may end up covering the medical bills for the injured pedestrian.

Let’s bring up a few more facts to illustrate how this works. Let’s say that the injured pedestrian is a twelve year old boy named Johnny who resides with his mother Mary Jones.  At the time of the pedestrian accident, Mary Jones owned a vehicle that was insured with GEICO Insurance.  The at-fault driver was insured through State Farm Insurance.  Even though the vehicle of Mary Jones was no where near the crash site where the pedestrian was injured, GEICO – the insurance company for Mary Jones – will most likely pay the medical bills of Johnny Jones, the twelve year old injured pedestrian.  Under some circumstances, a pedestrian can qualify for PIP coverage for the at-fault driver IF AND ONLY IF the injured pedestrian did not own a vehicle AND if the injured pedestrian did not resident with a resident relative who owned a vehicle and had insurance on the vehicle.

Certainly, there are a host of challenges in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident when a child or adult suffered personal injuries. The payment or responsibility for the payment of the medical bills is just one piece of a complicated puzzle.  It is important for the injury victim and the family to retain the services of a Florida Personal Injury Attorney to get guidance, advice, and, yes, legal representation to get through these tough and confusing issues.

Kids Wooden Blocks Spelling Mom And Dad As Symbol for Parenthood

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.

Kids Wooden Blocks Spelling Mom And Dad As Symbol for Parenthood
Day care centers have a duty to provide supervision to the children enrolled in the program.   As part of this supervision, child care providers should make sure that all exits and areas are secure and that no children wander away from the facility. It is well known that children are curious and lack good safety awareness.  As such, at times, a child will wander away from the facility.   This, in turn, may lead to serious personal injuries or even the death of the child.  This raises the issue as to whether the day care center is liable when a child wanders away from the facility.   From a practical standpoint, it may be difficult to pursue a civil case or claim when there was no physical harm caused to the child during the wandering away incident or event.

For instance, let’s say that a child wanders away and is just about to cross the street.  The child is outside of the facility for about 5 minutes and is found by a police officer who happened to be in the area.  The child is promptly returned to the day care center.  Certainly, the child could have been seriously harmed in the busy traffic just outside of this day care center. Furthermore, the child would have been seriously injured but for the presence of the attentive police officer.  However, based on the facts as presented, the child was unharmed and promptly returned to the facility.   The day care center was certainly negligent and may be fined or even closed for such conduct; however, there was no physical harm caused to the child. 
In some States, a physical injury would be required to pursue a civil case or claim for personal injuries or harm to a child. In other States, not such proof would be required; however, in each instance, it would be a difficult case to pursue from a damage / value perspective. If the facts are changed, the case is much different.