What are the Rights of a Child Hit at or Near a School Bus Stop Area in Florida?
In Florida and other states, school bus stop areas are busy during the morning and afternoon areas. Some school bus stops are well marked with signage, flashing lights, and crosswalks while other bus stops are not as well set up or equippped. If a driver knows of a school bus stop by signage, lights, and / or by a general knowledge of the area, it is important for drivers to slow down and be on the watch for children at the school bus stop area or walking to or walking away from the school bus stop area.
Unfortunately and tragically, children continue to suffer injuries and even die as a result of pedestrian / automobile accident incidents in and around school bus stop areas. Florida has adopted a number of legal concepts that may apply to personal injuries suffered by a child pedestrian in or near school bus stop areas. A child under the age of 6 years old cannot be held negligent for his or her own actions as a matter of law. For children 6 years of age and older, the conduct of the child is evaluated / considered based on the age and maturity of the child as well as the facts and circumstances surrounding the pedestrian / automobile accidents. In addition, Florida has comparative fault when evaluating the liability or responsibility for pedestrian and automobile accidents. In other words, there may be negligence on behalf of the child 6 or older which does not prevent the right to pursue a cause of action for injuries or death to the child. For instance, if is determined that a child is 25 % at fault for an accident, then the child and / or the family of the child would be entitled to recover 75 % of the damages associated with the injuries / death. The negligence of the child pedestrian is not a bar to recovery in the State of Florida.
A tragedy was recently reported in Palm Coast (Flagler County), Florida. New 4 Jax and other media outlets reported that Kymora Christian, a 7 year old girl, died while walking to her Palm Coast school bus stop for Wadsworth Elementary School. It was reported that there was no crosswalk in the area. In Flagler County and other Florida counties, some school bus stops have crosswalks and some do not. This makes it even more important for drivers in and near the school bus stop area to slow down especially during drop off and pick up times. The Florida Highway Patrol responded to the scene of the accident that involved a SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle). Since a death resulted from a vehicular accident in the State of Florida, a full investigation as to speed, preventability, and other factors will be conducted and reported by the Florida Highway Patrol. You can read more about this tragic incident at Florida Highway Patrol - 7 Year Old Girl Killed at School Bus Stop - Flagler County - Palm Coast, Florida.
Dealing with the aftermath of an injury or death of a child is always challenging for the parents. There are a number of pressures and stresses to deal with. The book titled - When a Parent's World Goes From Full to Empty - The Wrongful Death of a Child - What You Need to Know About The Florida Wrongful Death Act - covers a wide variety of topics and issues that arise when a child dies as a result of the negligence or fault of a person, business, school, day care center, or government entity. You can get this book for free at From Full to Empty. Another good resource is the book - When the Wheels Stop Spinning - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Parents Need to Know After the Accident. This book has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Hit and Run Accidents, Wrongful Death, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.