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 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.