In Florida, children are the unfortunate victims of accidents as pedestrians, bicyclists, or scooter riders. When a child suffers serious personal injuries in an accident caused by the negligence of a driver, there are many challenges faced by both the child and the family. First and foremost, the medical needs of the child should be met. The medical care may involve fire rescue paramedics, emergency room personnel, orthopedists, neurologists, surgeons, therapists, and other medical professionals. Once the initial medical needs of the child are met, the parents are often faced with the issue of payment of bills and then follow up care. Soon after accidents, parents are often contacted by investigators, insurance adjusters, and others seeking information regarding the child and the parents. At these most challenging times, it is often helpful to have the advice, consultation, and representation by a Florida Child Injury Lawyer. An experienced attorney in child injury cases can advise a parent as to issues including medical bills, medical treatment, insurance coverage, insurance claims, legal rights, compensation, damages, and other matters. These legal claims / legal cases are handled on a contingency basis (i.e. No Recovery – No Fees). Because of these available attorney fee arrangements, parents are able to secure the services of a qualified Florida personal injury without having to pay any money up front to the attorney for investigation or representation.
There are three basic issues that are part of most every child injury case involving a child pedestrian, child bicyclists, and child scooter rider.
1. Liability. This refers to the part of the case involving fault. Florida is a comparative fault type of state. In other words, the attorney for the child injury victim does not have to prove that 100% of the fault was attributed to a particular driver. Even if the child victim is partially at fault (in addition to the driver’s fault), a case / claim for personal injuries can still be pursued. In determining the liability, fault, and / or responsibility for a particular accident or incident, the investigation may include review of the police report and accident scene. In addition, if there were witnesses to the accident, statements can be taken as well. While it is helpful if the police officer issues a traffic citation to the alleged at fault driver, the issuance of a traffic citation is not required to pursue claim for personal injuries. Because of the issue of liability can be quite confusing and complicated, it is often times helpful to hire a Florida personal injury attorney to review the facts and details of the accident.
2. Damage. This typically refers to injuries sustained by the child as a result of the bicycle, pedestrian, or scooter accident. The value of the case is usually contingent on the extent or seriousness of the injuries. Factors that may be considered include the following: length of the medical treatment, type of medical treatment, diagnostic testing results, permanency of the injuries, the manner in which the child’s life has been affected or disrupted, the need for future care, the need or performance of surgery, extent of scarring, extent of disfigurement, and other factors. A one time emergency room visit is valued much differently than a case involving a year of treatment and many specialists.
3. Automobile / Liability Insurance. If a liability can be proved and the damages or injuries warrant the pursuit of a legal claim / legal case then practical considerations must be considered. One major practical consideration involves the availability and amount of automobile / liability insurance. While there are Florida laws in place that require an owner of a vehicle to maintain automobile insurance, the basic or minimal requirements are typically insufficient to properly compensate a child injury victim. Because of this, it is important for a parent to determine the amount and type of coverage that are in place for a particular injury or accident. Hopefully, the vehicle owner or driver purchased a policy in excess of the minimal requirements. A Florida personal injury lawyer can help a parent review the available insurance and advise the parent as to the practicalities of a particular claim or case.
The Associated Press recently reported that a 6 year old boy suffered serious personal injuries when he was hit on scooter in Broward County, Florida. The driver of the vehicle had hit another vehicle and the boy as well. Its appears that the at fault driver ran a stop sign according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. See 6 Year Old Boy Suffers Critical Personal Injuries as a Result of Being Hit by a Vehicle.
In a case like the one mentioned above, it is certainly most unfortunate and tragic that a child was injured as a result of a driver failing to stop at a stop sign. Traffic rules and regulations are in place for a reason. When a Florida traffic regulations or traffic sign / signal is violated, serious accidents can take place. See Florida Traffic Rules, Regulations, and Laws – Frequently Asked Questions. Beyond the liability or fault aspects of this accident, it appears that the injuries or damages are quite serious which then brings us to the final consideration – that of automobile or liability insurance.