In the State of Florida, it is a crime to leave a child unattended in a vehicle that is turned off. Pursuant to Section 316.6135, Florida Statutes, it is a misdemeanor to leave a child unattended in a vehicle for more than 15 minutes. It is a felony if the child suffers significant bodily harm, permanent injury, or disfigurement as a result of being left unattended in the vehicle. It is also a misdemeanor leaving a child unattended in a vehicle that is still running if the health of the child is put at risk OR the child appears to be in distress.
The statute as it currently reads is a bit troublesome in that a child can suffer serious personal injuries or even death by being left in a hot car or day care center van in less than 15 minutes. Some lawmakers in the State of Florida are pushing for changes to this legislation / Florida law to better protect children and to serve as a reminder to parents, guardians, caregivers, and day care centers to stop putting children at risk by leaving children in a vehicle.
David Wolf – Personal Injury Attorney – is based in Jacksonville, Florida and handles child injury, automobile accident, day care center, and related cases throughout the State of Florida. He is the author of 11 books including the book titled The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know and the book titled Florida Day Care Center Injuries – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – Building Blocks of Knowledge for Parents. You can get these books for free by visiting the Personal Injury Book Section of the Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A. Law Firm Website.
In Florida and other states, headlines are made when there is an automobile accident involving serious personal injuries or the death of a driver or passenger. This is especially true when children and reengages are the unfortunate victims in a Florida Automobile Accident Crash. The death of a teenager can have a ripple effect throughout the community. In many instances, a school crisis team is put in place to provide some guidance and counseling to the other students at the school where the victim attended. Certainly, the biggest loss is upon the parents. It is unnatural in the scheme of things for a parent to suffer the loss of a child especially after putting in some many years of work and love to raise the child from an infant to a young adult. When a teenager dies, so much of the promise that was there just disappears in a moment of time. It is the moment of time in which another driver was speeding or otherwise not paying attention. This momentarily lapse in good judgment and safe driving can and does often lead to serious personal injuries and the deaths of innocent drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
Just recently, an 18 year old died in an automobile accident which took place in St. Johns County – St. Augustine, Florida near the World Golf Village area. It was reported by a number of media outlets that Griffin Moody, who had just graduated from Allen D. Nease High School in June 2016 died as a result of this 2 vehicle crash. The crash occurred on Murabella Parkway according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Griffin Moody was a passenger in a 2005 Ford Focus that was being driven by another teenager. It was also reported that five other people suffered personal injuries in this crash.
Florida has statutes in place that set forth the rules of the road. Generally, drivers should obey the posted speed limits and yield the right of way to drivers on the roadway. A left hand turning vehicle should yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. All drivers should maintain control of the respective vehicles and otherwise remain attentive to traffic conditions, road conditions, and weather conditions. Each driver has a duty to avoid a crash when he or she has the ability to do so. It should be noted that each Florida Automobile Accident should be evaluated based on its own facts and merits. When a persona dies as result of a Florida traffic crash, the local law enforcement department and / or Florida Highway Patrol will investigate and issue a Florida Homicide Traffic Report upon completion of the investigation. It should noted that the results or conclusions of such a report are not binding per se on insurance companies or any further potential civil cases.
In the State of Florida and across the nation, one of the leading causes of death for small children, and especially toddlers, is drowning. In Florida, there are private residential swimming pools, public swimming pools, and hotel/motel/resort swimming pools in just about every community. It is important for property owners, business owners, home owners, and government entity to properly safeguard the swimming pool and aquatic area for the protection of children. It is well known and expected that a child, especially one of tender years, under the age of 5 years old, to be curious and inquisitive about interesting areas and what is deemed under Florida Law to be an “attractive nuisance.”
Unfortunately and tragically, there are reports of drowning incidents every summer, spring and the rest of the year in Florida. Many such incidents are preventable with the proper implementation and maintenance of swimming pool fences and barriers, swimming pool alarms, proper adult supervision, proper lifesaving equipment, and the posting of trained and attentive life guards when appropriate. When a child suffers personal injury or dies as a result of a drowning incident there may be a case or claim to pursue on behalf of the child and the family. To establish a legal claim r case, there must be proof and evidence of the following four elements:
Walt Disney World Orlando advertises itself as one of the “Happiest Places on Earth”. For millions of visitors every year, it is quite a happy and joyful place filled with rides, cartoon characters, and adventures; however, for many children and their families, Walt Disney World Orlando happens to be a placed filled with horrific memories, significant personal injuries, tragedy, and even the untimely and wrongful death of a visitor from children to teens to adults. Certainly, Walt Disney World Orlando welcomes children and families to its many theme parks, attractions, resorts, and hotels. As such, it is important that Walt Disney World Orlando provide a safe and well maintained environment with the full knowledge that every day families and young children will be on the premises. This duty extends to all areas of the park and resorts including but not limited to the attractions, rides, restaurants, hotels, lobby areas, swimming pool areas, recreation areas, and yes, the other aquatic areas whether man-made or natural in the form of lakes, ponds, canals, lagoons, and other areas. It is incumbent upon Walt Disney World Orlando to patrol the areas, maintain the areas, clean up the areas, and post prominent signage about potential dangers that may include those related to electrical and wildlife. If an area has the potential for significant injury or death, this particular area should either be closed off, modified, and / or posted with prominent signage.
A recent incident at Walt Disney World Orlando left a family and community in shock when an alligator from the Seven Seas Lagoon lunged out of the water and grabbed a 2 year old who was standing in or near the water with his father. The boy, who was vacationing with his family from Nebraska, was attacked by the alligator. While the father tried to do his best to stop the attack and save his son, he was unable to do so. It was reported that there were signs in the area that advised visitors about the designation of a “No Swimming” area. There may not have been any warnings or signage about the presence of dangerous wildlife including but not limited to alligators. Certainly, this incident was and is a complete and utter nightmare for the family visiting the “Magic Kingdom” from Nebraska. The incident was immediately reported to Walt Disney World Orlando officials, resort staff and management, local law enforcement, and Florida Wildlife Law Enforcement officers. You can read more about this tragedy at KETV Omaha, Nebraska – Alligator Attacks and Drags 2 Year Old Nebraska Boy at Walt Disney World Orland Resort – Seven Seas Lagoon.
The injury and / or wrongful of a child is a harrowing experience. Certainly, as parents, we work day and night to provide for our children’s safety, health, and welfare. When a child is injured or when a child dies as a result of the negligence of another person, business entity, or government entity, a parent is faced with a number of life, medical, and legal challenges. Certainly, it is important that these trying times to be supported by family members, friends, community, medical professionals, clergy, community, and, yes, when necessary an experienced and caring Florida Child Injury Lawyer. Big businesses are supported day / night by in-house and retained legal counsel essentially on a 24 / 7 basis. There are risk management and insurance risk management adjuster in place to advise and protect the companies. As such, injury victims and their families also deserve legal representation to make that legal rights are protected, enforced, and preserved as needed especially in the aftermath of significant personal injuries and /or wrongful death.