Keep Your Kid Safe in a Florida Crash with the Right Car Seat

Keep Your Kid Safe in a Florida Crash with the Right Car Seat

Keep Your Kid Safe in a Florida Crash with the Right Car Seat

Not sure which car seat is right for your child?

You have an important job as a parent—providing a safe experience for your child while he or she is riding in a vehicle. Thousands of children are injured or killed in Florida car crashes each year, and the right car seat can protect your child from getting hurt.

Choosing the right car seat is essential for keeping your child safe, but with so many options out there, it can be difficult to know which seat is the right one – something that is based on your child’s age, height, weight and other needs.

In this guide, we’re going to go over the different types of car seats available, offer tips on knowing when children are ready to graduate from one stage to the next, and go over proper installation techniques.

Consider these guidelines based on your child’s individual characteristics.

Infants and Toddlers

Rear-facing seats are required for infants and smaller toddlers. These seats are safest for children until they have outgrown them. A rear-facing seat may be static, or it may convert to a forward-facing seat.

Check the car seat manufacturer’s recommendations for height and weight limits. A rear-facing seat secures the child in a five-point harness and is normally rated for toddlers up to 35 pounds.

Some infant car seats have a base that stays in the vehicle while the car seat can move in and out. Not only can these types of seats be carried around with you, often they will pair with a stroller, so you can safely move your child from one to the other without disturbing them.

You can purchase more than one base for use in multiple vehicles.

If your baby slouches or leans inside the seat, you can roll up two blanket and use it to stabilize your child on both sides. You should not place any padding behind or under your baby for safety reasons.

A convertible seat can be used for an infant and then switched to a forward-facing seat for when your child exceeds the rear-facing weight limit. They do not come with a base that allows the seat to be removed and carried with you.

Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer

These seats typically have a higher weight limit of up to 50 pounds, though some go higher.

You can also purchase a 3-in-1 seat that transitions from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat, then to a booster for an older child. These seats are larger than others, so make sure they fit in your vehicle before you purchase one.

It is important to note that both convertible and 3-in-1 seats typically have separate weight limits for rear-facing and forward facing, and that often they are rated for higher rear-facing weights.

Why does this matter? Because studies have shown that children are safer (at any weight) when in rear-facing seats. The longer you can keep your child facing the rear, the safer they will be.

Toddlers and Preschool Children

As mentioned above, children who are too big for a rear-facing car seat can use a forward-facing seat with a harness. The harness will keep them safer than a seat without a harness.

Use this type of seat until your child outgrows the height and weight restrictions as listed by the car seat manufacturer. Typically, these seats are used until a child is at least four years old – but remember that weight and height limits matter face more than age. Many parents make the mistake of putting their kids in “older” seats before they’re ready.

Some vehicles are equipped with built-in forward-facing seats. These built-in seats should not be used unless your child is at least two years old. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for information about height and weight restrictions.

School-Aged Children

Children of elementary school age can use a booster seat once they have outgrown a forward-facing seat. Again, this means checking height and age requirements. Booster seats are recommended for children who are under 4’ 9” and are typically younger than 12 years of age. Booster seats should always be placed in the back seat of the vehicle.

Older Children

Older children must use lap and shoulder seat belts once they are tall enough to wear them. Children younger than 13 years of age should still ride in the back seat for maximum safety.

Installing a Car Seat

Car seats can be installed with the existing seat belts or the LATCH system, which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. If your vehicle was made after September 1, 2002, it is likely equipped with two lower anchors between the seat cushions and one upper tether behind the seat, on the ceiling or on the floor.

Both seat belt and LATCH systems provide security in a car accident. It’s best to use only one system unless the car seat manufacturer recommends using both seat belts and LATCH. Seat belts must be tightly adjusted for safety.

Lower anchors are approved for a maximum combined weight of 65 pounds, which includes your child and the car seat. Check the car seat manufacturer’s recommendations to know if a certain seat is appropriate for your child.

Boca Raton Child Injury Accident Lawyer

When you follow these tips for proper car seat use, you can protect your child from injury or death in a Florida auto accident.

 

 

About the Author: 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

 

What Florida Kids Should Know to Avoid Back to School Car Crashes

What Florida Kids Should Know to Avoid Back to School Car Crashes

What Florida Kids Should Know to Avoid Back to School Car Crashes

School is starting again. Morning commutes now include stopping for crossing guards and children on their way to class. If you are a parent in Florida, this time of year is both exciting and frightening.

Why? Because motor vehicle crashes caused a quarter of all unintentional injury deaths of children under the age of 18 in 2016. Of these deaths, 19% were pedestrians who may have been walking to or from school.

Whether your children are moving to a new school or just changing grades, be sure to remind them of road safety as they walk, bike, or ride the bus or car to class. Teen and adult drivers aldo have to be extra careful when they are driving around school zones, but that doesn’t give kids freedom to run, hide, or do whatever they want around cars.

What should they do?

Stay Focused

No matter how your kid gets to school, they should stay alert and remove any distractions from their eyes or ears. Distracted driving or walking is a leading cause of car crashes. Tell your kids to put away their phones and remove their earphones while they are on the road. The less distracted they are, the easier it will be for them to see cars turning around the corner or backing out around them.

Walk Slowly and With Intention

Cars may not see children playing hide-and-seek or running around parking lots. Let your child know that it is not appropriate to play around parking lots with parked cars. A good rule of thumb is to ask children to make eye contact with drivers that may be sitting in their cars nearby as they walk through the parking lot. Even if a child thinks they are being seen, the driver may be distracted, or the child may be in their blind spot.

Make Sure Adults Are Present

Before you let your child walk or ride their bike to school, walk the route with them. If you do not see crossing guards at busy intersections, reach out to your child’s school about ways that you can make the roads more safe.

If your child is under the age of 10, recruit an adult or older student around the neighborhood to walk with them every day. Research shows that children under the age of 10 cannot properly judge the speed and distance at which a car is coming.

Make sure that adults are present if your teens are learning how to drive. Florida teenagers can get their learner’s permit at the age of 15, but that does not mean you should let your child get a ride with a 22-year-old driver. While the teenager still has their Florida learner’s permit, they have to drive with an adult over the age of 21. If the adult is not present, your child should not be their passenger.

Boca Raton Auto Accident Lawyer

Biking? Wear the Right Gear

Bicycles are a great way for your kids to get exercise and save on fuel emissions as they head to school, but they also pose a risk for crashes and other accidents. In order to keep your child safe, give them the right gear to wear while riding.

Kids should wear bright and visible clothing so they can be seen by cars and pedestrians. If your child goes to after school events after sundown, make sure they have lights and reflectors on their bike so they can be seen in the dark.

Helmets are the most important piece of safety gear for cyclists. Make sure your child’s helmet is strapped on and snug when placed directly on the top of their head. If you are not sure whether or not the helmet fits properly, or if the bike is the right size for your child, consult the employees at a local bike store.

Remember to teach your children basic bike safety rules, including hand signals and how to properly maintain their bike. Florida classifies bicycles as vehicles that have to obey the same traffic laws as motor vehicles. If your child is biking, they will most likely end up in the road and have to drive alongside other vehicles.

Boca Raton Bike Accident Lawyer

Teach Children What to Do If They Get Hurt

Unfortunately, motor vehicle crashes and pedestrian accidents do happen. Have an emergency plan in place if your child gets hurt. Tell your child what information they need to gather (license plate numbers, what they were doing at the time of the accident, etc.) and what information they need to give out (your contact number, their address) if they get into an accident. If your child can give authorities a full account of what happened during the accident, they can get proper care.

 

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Here's Why So Many Florida Kids Get Hurt in Bounce Houses

Here’s Why So Many Florida Kids Get Hurt in Bounce Houses

Here's Why So Many Florida Kids Get Hurt in Bounce Houses

Kids love bounce houses. If they see one at a party, they go running. If the thought of this makes you want to start nervously biting your nails, don’t feel like a helicopter parent.

Why? Because the reality is that bounce houses may be more dangerous than we think.

Quick Stats about Bounce House Injuries

We don’t want to scare you, but the facts are the facts. Bounce house injuries are on the rise, causing harm to tens of thousands of children every year:

  • About 90% of inflatables-related ER visits have to do with bounce house injuries.
  • In 2010, a child got injured on a bounce house once every 46 minutes.
  • A third of these injuries included children under the age of six. (The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that children under the age of six should stay out of bounce houses altogether.)
  • Half of all states do not have government regulations concerning bounce houses. In 2016, an investigation conducted by WFTV-9 revealed that Florida is one of these states.

Why Do Florida Children Get Hurt in Bounce Houses?

Too many children are present (or not enough adults)

Bounce house injures include concussions, broken noses, and even spinal trauma. A lot of bounce house injuries occur when two children knock or fall into each other.

Bounce houses often have instructions that recommend the number of children allowed in a bounce house at one time, or how much weight the bounce house can hold. If there are too many children in the bounce house, it is always best to wait until some leave before letting your child play.

Additionally, you need to make sure that adults are watching children as they play. If children get too rowdy and start to do flips or somersaults, the risk of injuries could be even higher. Bounce house manufacturers may also print instructions for what children can and cannot do inside a bounce house, and adults who are standing by should be aware of these rules.

Children or adults enter the bounce house with dangerous objects

We’re not talking about knives here – or even pointy sticks. These “dangerous objects” mostly wouldn’t even be considered dangerous outside of a bounce house: keys, beer bottles, glasses, and so on. If any of these objects fall out of a person’s pockets or hands and a child slips or steps on them, they may face increased injuries.

Make sure that you, your child, and other bounce house attendees take off their shoes and glasses before they enter the bounce house. Attendees should also empty their pockets and place any items that may be hanging off their person aside.

Bounce houses are not secured properly

Bounce houses flying away in the wind. The image may sound amusing, but it really does happen, and it can cause serious injuries. Bounce houses have been known to fly dozens of feet off the ground because they were not properly secured.

If your child is at a party that has a bounce house, check with the homeowners about what they have done to secure the house. The same rules apply if you are at an amusement park or other business that has a bounce house present. If you are renting a bounce house, make sure that you read instructions very carefully.

Also, be sure that you check the weather before you rent or enter an outdoor bounce house. If the weather includes heavy winds or thunderstorms, it’s best to leave the bouncing for another day.

Was Your Child Injured in a Florida Bounce House?

Unfortunately, accidents do happen, but there are many steps along the way that can prevent most bounce house injuries. If your child was injured in a bounce house and medical bills are piling up, you may be entitled to compensation. Even though Florida does not have government regulations regarding bounce houses, you may still be able to file a personal injury case against the parties responsible for your child’s injuries.

Was Your Child Injured in a Florida Bounce House

Before you file, though, reach out to a Florida personal injury lawyer. The following factors could affect how you go about the case:

  • Who was “in charge” of the bounce house (amusement park, party hosts renting from manufacturer, etc.)
  • The warnings on the side of the bounce house
  • Any liability waivers you signed before entering the bounce house
  • The injuries that occurred
  • Any reckless behavior your child engaged in before entering the bounce house.

You can’t stop every accident from happening – especially when dealing with the negligence of others – but you can protect the rights of your child and your family by fighting back and holding responsible parties accountable.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Injuries at Florida Summer Camps – How to Protect Your Kids and Family

Injuries at Florida Summer Camps – How to Protect Your Kids and Family 1 Children Injuries & Accidents South Florida Injury Law Firm

Summer camp is a great way for children to enjoy time off from school and enjoy the outdoors. However, injuries do occur at summer camps and because of that you have to be careful about where you choose to go and protect yourself as much as possible.

How?

In this post, we’ll outline common injuries and what you can do to make sure that both you and your child are protected.

Common Summer Camp Injuries

Here are the most common types of summer camp injuries your child may experience.

Rashes and bites

Being in the great outdoors means your child could be exposed to poison ivy or poison oak, which cause painful rashes. Your child could get stung by a flying insect or bitten by an animal. If you know your child is allergic to bee stings or certain plants, make sure to inform the camp of your child’s allergy and pack necessary medication.

Bone fractures

Your child may take a fall while playing sports, climbing a tree, or navigating a hiking trail. Any of these accidents and dozens more can cause fractures.

Fractures can also occur for slip and fall injuries due to wet or cluttered floors. If the camp doesn’t do a reasonable job of keeping floors safe, you may have grounds for a premises liability claim.

Concussions

A concussion is a serious brain injury that can have long-lasting effects like seizures, impaired concentration, and even paralysis. It can result from a slip and fall injury or blunt force trauma to your child’s head.

If your child is engaging in activities where a fall is more likely, protective headgear must be worn. The camp is responsible to make sure your child is always wearing protective gear when the situation is warranted.

Burns

Campfires are a popular way to enjoy food and camaraderie at summer camp. However, many children every year are burned by campfires, hot coals, or hot food, and if yours is hurt due to negligence, you may be able to sue for compensation.

Water Injuries

Summer camp is an ideal place to enjoy the water, but water-related accidents  often result in serious injury or death. Camp staff members should supervise children during water play and be trained in rescue and resuscitation efforts. If the camp fails to perform their duties, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

Ways to Make Sure Your Child – and You – are Covered in the Event an Accident Occurs

Check accreditation. Every camp has to be licensed – that’s not an option. What they don’t have to be is accredited, and that’s often what sets the truly good, safe camps apart from the fly-by-night operations that may not be able to cover the cost if your child is injured and it’s their fault.

Ask about insurance. Insurance should be a requirement as well, but it’s always good to confirm that a camp is actually insured and learn exactly what their insurance covers and how much it covers.

Get insurance – if necessary. That’s right. Many people don’t realize it, but it’s possible to get insurance that covers the possibility of camp injuries. Check to see if your insurance will cover accidents and injuries that occur at camp, and if it doesn’t, do some research into how to get camp insurance.

Fight Back If Your Child Is Injured at a Florida Summer Camp

You may have signed a waiver that says the camp isn’t liable if something happens. However, a waiver is not necessarily ironclad.

Injuries at Florida Summer Camps – How to Protect Your Kids and Family 2 Children Injuries & Accidents South Florida Injury Law Firm

If your child has been injured, consult with an experienced Florida child injury attorney. We will provide a free case review to determine whether you are able to file a claim to receive compensation. 

About the Author: 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Common Amusement Park Dangers Florida Parents Should Beware

Common Amusement Park Dangers Florida Parents Should Beware

Common Amusement Park Dangers Florida Parents Should Beware

This story has been in the news a lot lately, so there’s a good chance you already know about it. If not, brace yourself. It’s not pretty.

 

In 2016, a 10-year-old boy was decapitated as his raft went airborne and struck an overhead loop at the world’s tallest waterslide in Kansas City, Kansas. A sad, horrible tragedy, but every once in a while things like that happen… right?

 

Well, it turns out there’s more to this story. Recently, the co-owner, designer, and private construction company of Schlitterbahn Waterparks were indicted on charges of reckless second-degree murder as well as 17 additional felony offenses, including aggravated battery.

 

Why? The indictment alleges that the men designed the slide without proper engineering skills or technical expertise. Essentially, they rushed the project, cut corners, and were aware of the fact that doing so posed serious risks.

 

The allegations are a terrifying, disgusting tale of greed and power run amok, though it should be noted that the company says they will fight the charges because the accidents were unforeseeable.

 

Were they? Only time will tell.

 

What parents need to understand, though, it that amusement park accidents occur all the time:

 

  • In 2017, one teenage boy died and seven others were injured when the Fire Ball ride broke apart at the Ohio State Fair.
  • In 2016, a mechanical malfunction was the likely cause for a Ferris Wheel accident in Tennessee, when a basket tipped over and seriously injured three girls.

 

Every year, thousands of people visit the emergency room with amusement park injuries. Thousands more never seek medical treatment for their injuries.

 

Obviously you can’t control everything, but there are certain types of accidents and injuries that happen more frequently that others. Knowing what to watch out for may help you to avoid it.

 

Common Amusement Park Injuries

 

These are the most common injuries that occur at amusement parks:

 

  • Cuts and bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Torn ligaments
  • Head injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Stroke
  • Brain aneurysms
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Drowning

 

Amusement park rides and water slides hurt more than 8000 people each year, with about half of those injuries occurring to children. Most of the injuries occur to children between the ages of 10 and 14 years old, and the most common type of injury occurs when a person either falls from a ride or is suddenly ejected.

 

Reasons for Amusement Park Injuries

 

Several factors make amusement park injuries more likely to occur. They include the following:

 

Failure to follow instructions

Passengers can get hurt if they do not follow the rules. Standing up, unbuckling a seatbelt, or sitting improperly can result in injuries.

 

Improper ride operation

Abrupt stops and starts can cause injury. If seatbelts and restraints are not properly fastened, people can be ejected from rides.

 

Inherent dangers

Rides move at fast speeds, which may trigger various injuries in susceptible people. Headaches, dizziness, and concussions can result.

 

Mechanical failure

If the ride is not properly maintained, or if a part of the machine or the design is defective, injuries can result.

 

If Your Child is Injured Due to Amusement Park Error

 

If you experience injuries at an amusement park that are the result of someone else’s negligence, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

 

Unfortunately, holding a responsible party accountable for your child’s injuries is a tricky process – especially if that party is a giant, wealthy corporation that runs amusement parks.

 

Fort Lauderdale Child INjury Lawyers

To give your family the best chance at winning the compensation you need and deserve, your best bet is to enlist the help of an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. Call us for a free consultation today and we will determine whether you have grounds to file a claim.

 

 

About the Author: 

 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Top Child Accidents - What Florida Parents Should Really Worry About

Top Child Accidents: What Florida Parents Should Really Worry About

Top Child Accidents - What Florida Parents Should Really Worry About

 

As a concerned parent, you worry about your child’s safety pretty much all the time. However, it is important to know that there are certain things that you should be more worried about than others.

 

When is your child at the highest risk of danger in Florida? Every year over 9 million children are treated for injuries in U.S. hospitals. In this post, we’ll tell you the most common childhood accidents, give you tips on accident prevention, and let you know what to do if your child is injured due to someone else’s negligence.

 

Drowning

 

Florida has beautiful waterways, easy access to beaches, and an abundance of swimming pools. Not surprisingly, all this water means that children have elevated risks of drowning here. In fact, for kids between the ages of one and four, drowning is the top cause of death. That’s why it’s so important to be vigilant when your child is near water.

 

A small child can drown in only an inch of water. You must keep a constant eye on small children when they are close to a water source. Ensure that pool covers are locked when not in use, and that gates and doors to a pool cannot be opened by a small child.

 

It’s also smart to sign your child up for swimming instructions as soon as possible, make sure he or she wears a life vest when out on the water with you, and to teach them good water safety habits at a young age.

Falls

 

Children are natural explorers. Most kids enjoy climbing trees and playground equipment, riding bikes, and navigating the outdoors. All of these behaviors pose falling risks. Falls are the number one reason for injuries to children under 15 years old.

 

How can you encourage your child’s exploration skills while also promoting safety? Secure furniture to the walls and keep windows and doors locked. Keep your floors free from clutter to prevent tripping. Take your child to play at a newer playground with a soft surface that will cushion falls. When your child rides a bike, always make him or her wear a bike helmet.

 

These simple precautions will minimize fall dangers for your child.

 

Choking

 

Young children are especially prone to choking hazards because they tend to put everything in their mouths. You must be vigilant with babies and toddlers, keeping small items out of reach and paying close attention to what they put in their mouths.

 

During mealtimes, cut all food into small pieces before giving it to your child. Avoid giving your child hard foods such as nuts and raw carrots until they have developed a sufficient number of molars to properly chew.

 

Suffocation

 

South Florida Child Injury Lawyer

 

Children under the age of one year are at a high risk for suffocation. Many suffocation cases are due to improper sleeping placement. The risk of suffocation rises when a baby co-sleeps with an adult, so make sure to place your baby in a crib or bassinet. Place your baby on his or her back in the crib, and make sure that no other objects, toys, or blankets are in the crib with the baby.

Also remember to keep plastic bags out of baby’s reach. They may love hearing the crinkly sound, but a plastic bag poses a serious suffocation risk.

 

Poisoning

 

Children are known to get into Mom and Dad’s stuff without permission. When they get into the family medicine cabinet, they can end up accidently poisoning themselves. Always monitor your medicine cabinet, no matter the age of your children. Keep prescription drugs locked up for maximum security.

 

Another poisoning source is household cleaning chemicals. Make sure these chemicals are labeled as poisonous and teach your child to avoid those products. Also keep the chemicals in an out-of-reach shelf or cabinet so your child can’t have access to them.

 

Sports Injuries

 

Children who love to play sports will likely experience a sport injury sooner or later. Sports injuries can be relatively minor, like sprains and bruises, but they can also be incredibly serious, as in the case of broken bones and concussions.

 

Keep your child well-hydrated during sports events and encourage him or her to take frequent breaks. It’s important to take your child to the emergency room if any injury occurs so that treatment can prevent further issues.

 

Boca Raton Child Accident Injury Attorney

 

If your child is injured due to someone else’s negligence, consult with a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit. Get in touch today.

 

 

 

 

About the Author: 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Fight Back If Negligence Caused Your Child to Fall at a Florida School

Fight Back If Negligence Caused Your Child to Fall at a Florida School

Fight Back If Negligence Caused Your Child to Fall at a Florida School

Kids can be wild. They can be careless and clumsy.

 

However, if your child falls at school and is seriously injured, don’t assume it is your child’s fault. The school still has a duty of care, and if their negligence led to your child’s injury, Florida law says that you can hold them accountable. In this post, we’re going to show you what to do.

 

How a School Injury Can Occur Due to Negligent Actions

 

Let’s say your child was injured at recess when another child threw a rock at them, causing them to slip and fall. The fall resulted in a concussion, and now your child has ongoing cognitive function loss. Can someone be held liable in this situation?

 

Possibly. This isn’t an easy answer. It may potentially involve more than one responsible party. Let’s break it down:

 

  1. The school could possibly be held at fault for having rocks available on the playground in the first place.
  2. The teaching staff or administrators could be held liable for the other child’s aggressive behavior if it had a pattern of going unchecked and no discipline was given.
  3. You may also have grounds to sue the school district if the children were not properly supervised.
  4. Finally, you may be able to file suit against the other child’s parents for medical damages. An experienced attorney will know which details of your case will point to the party or parties who are liable.

 

Other situations may be less complex. If a broken tile in the school or a crack in the playground pavement caused your child to slip and fall, the school district could be held liable under premises liability. Schools have a duty to keep their properties free from unsafe conditions, and the crack could be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

 

However, it is important to note that a slip and fall lawsuit against a privately-owned entity is quite different from a slip and fall suit against a public one.

 

How Lawsuits against Public Entities Work in Florida

 

If your son or daughter attends a public school, the lawsuit must follow certain procedures since the school is owned and operated by the government. In particular, filing procedures are strict and must be followed carefully, or your case will be dismissed.

 

A notice of claim is the first step in filing a lawsuit against a school district. It describes the incident, the wrongful action, the injuries, and a request for financial compensation. Normally you have only 60 to 90 days after the incident to file the notice of claim.

 

Child Injury Attorney Fort Lauderdale

The school district will then investigate and either deny your claim or offer a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will continue to court. In the state of Florida, you cannot file a lawsuit until 180 days have passed after the notice of claim is filed with the school district and the state’s Division of Financial Services. Moreover, you must file your claim within three years of the incident.

 

Here are the specific limits from the Florida statutes on tort claims. The compensation limits are $200,000 per person or $300,000 per occurrence. Only further acts of the state legislature can approve higher payouts.

 

Since school lawsuits are so complicated, your best bet is to enlist the help of an experienced Florida injury attorney. Call today for your free consultation.

 

 

About the Author:

 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

 

Watch Out! Common Ways Florida Kids Get Injured Around Christmas

Watch Out! Common Ways Florida Kids Get Injured Around Christmas

Watch Out! Common Ways Florida Kids Get Injured Around Christmas

Any parent or relative of small children will tell you that there is nothing quite so special and rewarding as sharing the holiday season with little ones. Children’s unfettered enthusiasm for Christmas is contagious, helping to bring out the kid in all of us.

 

The Christmas holiday is therefore an occasion marked with excitement and joy for Florida families. However, all of that excitement means that kids and adults alike may be a little less cautious than usual, and holiday injuries can happen in the blink of an eye.

 

A Christmas injury to your child will not only spoil the holiday fun, but can also have long-lasting consequences. Your child could be left with permanently debilitating injuries or potentially even be killed.

 

It is therefore important to familiarize yourself with common ways that kids get injure around Christmas, and have some ground rules in place for the festivities.

 

Toy-Related Injuries

 

On average, 18 children are admitted to U.S. emergency rooms every hour with toy-related injuries. Further, toy-related injuries account for around 43% of child hospital admissions.

 

Around Christmas, those numbers skyrocket as children test out new toys, some of which may not have been appropriately selected. Appropriate toy selection and supervision during toy use can help avoid some of these common toy-related injuries.

 

Ride-on toys. Such as scooters, bicycles, tricycles, rollerblades, skateboards and motor-powered kiddie vehicles. These types of toys are by far the most common culprit for serious toy-related injuries – particularly in older children.

 

One way to prevent serious injuries related to these toys is to make sure that children are wearing all recommended safety gear, especially helmets, at all times. If you will be purchasing a ride-on toy for a child in your life, make sure to also purchase appropriate safety gear and gift this as well. It is also important to supervise children during the use of ride-on toys, especially as they are learning to use them.

 

Importantly, foot-powered scooters are the most injurious ride-on toy. Due to the high rate of injury, these toys are best avoided, especially for younger children with less-developed motor skills and coordination. If your child will be riding a scooter, be sure that he or she wears a helmet at all times, and consider the use of protective gear to shield knee, elbow and wrist joints.

 

Trampolines. Another common cause of serious toy-related injuries among older children. Children are susceptible to falls, head trauma, strains and sprains while using this popular toy. For large trampolines, installing a guard net may be helpful in preventing falls. Further, children should always be supervised during trampoline use.

 

Choking Hazards. Choking and asphyxiation hazards are common causes of toy-related injuries and fatalities in children under the age of two.

 

These injuries can be prevented in part by selecting age-appropriate toys. Check the package labeling or online product descriptions for more information, and keep toys intended for older children in the household out of the reach of younger siblings.

 

Florida Defective Toys Injury Lawyer

 

Defective Toys. Not surprisingly, defective toys are more likely to result in toy-related injuries. To prevent these injuries, check the toy’s safety specifications prior to purchase, and keep an eye on recalls posted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

 

Deck the Halls with Care

 

Putting up and taking down holiday decorations is a common cause of injury for children and adults alike. Falls from ladders and stools are most likely to result in serious injuries during holiday decorating.

 

If your children will be helping to decorate, be sure to supervise them closely. Also, younger children should never be allowed on ladders.

 

Ingestion of Decorations

 

Christmas decorations are very inviting – they’re glittery, colorful, and something new on young children’s radars. It’s therefore very common for younger children to attempt to eat Christmas decorations.

 

To prevent this, make sure that decorations are displayed out of the reach of young children, and supervise your children around decorations if you’ll be visiting friends or relatives who may not have taken these precautions.

 

Drunk Driving

 

The Christmas season is a common occasion for drinking, and many families travel to visit relatives, often driving to reach their destinations. Unfortunately, this makes alcohol-related motor vehicle injuries and fatalities much more likely on Christmas.

 

Boca Raton DUI Accidents Attorney

To protect your family from drunk drivers, avoid driving late at night if possible. Also remain alert, and watch for signs of drunk drivers, such as inappropriate speed and swerving. Avoid these cars, and consider reporting them to the Highway Patrol to help keep drunk drivers off the road.

 

What to Do If Your Child Is Injured

 

If your child sustains an injury due to someone else’s negligence, he or she should be held accountable for their negligent actions. Seek compensation for your child’s injuries by reaching out to a knowledgeable Florida personal injury attorney and you give yourself the chance to ease financial concerns related to the injury, while also providing closure on what was likely a traumatic event for the whole family.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

How to Help Your Child in Florida after a Serious Bicycle Injury

How to Help Your Child in Florida after a Serious Bicycle Injury

How to Help Your Child in Florida after a Serious Bicycle Injury

 

Bike riding is a fun activity for children. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise. Unfortunately, it’s also a common way for kids to get injured.

 

How common?

 

Over 500,000 bicycle-related visits to emergency rooms occur in the United States annually. About 300,000 of these cases involve injuries to children, and about 10,000 of those cases require an overnight hospital stay. It’s important to know what level of care your child needs after sustaining injuries from a bicycle accident.

 

If your child has been injured in a bicycle accident, here are some things that you should do.

 

Initial Response

 

Take a deep breath and stay calm even if your child is crying and upset. Look them over carefully for injuries and assess the damage level. Your child may simply need reassurance from you to get riding again. A bag of ice applied to the injury can alleviate any swelling. If your child’s pain is persistent or if the injuries are significant, take your care to the next level.

 

Medical Help

 

Seek medical care for your child’s injury if it seems serious. It’s important to rule out significant issues like concussions, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries. Your child may also have bruising and scrapes from the accident that may require stitches. Don’t hesitate to get your child the medical help they need.

 

A visit to the chiropractor or physical therapist can relieve back pain, neck pain, or a misaligned spine due to the accident. They can prescribe healing exercises and therapeutic treatments to alleviate the pain and swelling.

 

Help Them Get Riding Again

 

South Florida Bicycle Injury Lawyer

 

It’s been said many times, but it’s worth repeating. Bike helmets are a must – they help save lives. Yet a national survey reported that only 48% of children between the ages of 5 and 14 years wear bicycle helmets.

 

Most deadly bicycle accidents occur because the person failed to wear a bike helmet. Even on short rides, bike helmets are crucial for protection.

 

The proper fit for a bike helmet matters, as it needs to be secure in the event of a crash. Always fasten the straps. If the straps are fastened correctly, the helmet should not shift on your head. Also, don’t ever wear a hat underneath your bike helmet, as it will affect the fit.

 

Be gentle when handling your bike helmet. If it is damaged, it may not offer you the protection you need in a crash. Replace your helmet if you do experience a bicycle accident. They don’t protect as effectively once they’ve gone through a crash.

 

Helmets are just the beginning, though. Other things to help your child get back out there include:

 

Pads. Elbow pads and knee pads are also helpful for children learning to ride. They will likely take a few tumbles as they are learning, but padding will cushion the blows. When a young child learns that padding and helmets are part of bicycling, they’ll be more likely to wear protective gear as they grow.

 

Bright colors. It’s also smart for your child to wear bright colors or light colors when riding as well, especially at dawn or dusk. Make sure their bicycles have reflective markings on the back and front to improve visibility.

 

Knowing bike safety rules. Make sure you review the rules of the road with your child. They must ride with the flow of traffic instead of against it. They need to obey traffic signals and signs and use hand signals. Children may need reminding to stop and look both ways several times before crossing a street on their bicycles. Some communities restrict bicycle riding to sidewalks and paths; check with your local ordinances.

 

Reviewing the accident. Talk with your child about what went wrong during the crash. Were they riding too fast, which caused them to lose control? Were they riding on a surface that didn’t have much traction, such as a rain-covered sidewalk or a driveway with loose gravel? Teach them smarter riding habits to keep them from making the same error again.

 

Child Injury Attorney South Florida

 

Positivity and encouragement. With a major injury, your child may be afraid to ride again. Stay positive and encourage your child to take it slow, perhaps practicing on flat parking lots. Some children bounce back very quickly after an accident. Pay attention to your child’s temperament, and encourage them without pushing them too hard. If you notice that your child is showing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder related to the accident, don’t wait to get them the help they need.

 

If your child sustained a bicycle injury due to the negligence of someone else, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for the help you need.

 

 

About the Author: 

 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars. 

 

 

Auto Accidents the Leading Cause of Death for Kids in the U.S.

Auto Accidents the Leading Cause of Death for Kids in the U.S.

Auto Accidents the Leading Cause of Death for Kids in the U.S.

As parents, your number one priority is keeping your children safe, healthy, and happy, and you probably do this in all kinds of ways. You baby proof your home. You have strict rules about staying out after dark. You never let your children get on a bike without a helmet.

 

So then why do so many parents ignore safety where automobiles are concerned?

 

You may have seen the recent story about the car crash out of West Palm Beach. Eight people were injured, including four children. Two of the children were immediately rushed to the hospital for traumatic injuries.

 

When neighbors arrived to the scene, passengers in the car were heard yelling that one of the children was trapped underneath the car. The child had been ejected from the vehicle when it rolled over in the crash. Because they weren’t wearing a safety belt.

 

Do you make sure that your children wear seatbelts? Do you do it every single time they get in a car? Do you use the right booster or car seat for your child? Do you properly wear your seatbelt as well?

 

If you’re enforcing other rules to keep your child safe, but letting them slide when it comes to seat belts and booster seats, you may be ignoring the most important tool in your arsenal – and putting them at the highest amount of risk.

 

You don’t notice stories like the one from Palm Beach so often just because they stand out to you: auto accidents and traffic-related fatalities are the top cause of child fatalities in the country. A lack of proper restraint is a big reason why.

 

Stats on Children and Auto Accidents

 

Boca Raton Auto Accident Lawyers

In 2015, 938 children were killed in traffic-related crashes: 663 of these children were killed as the occupant of a passenger vehicle, 186 children were killed as pedestrians, and 29 children were killed while riding a bike. 2015 was the highest number of child passenger deaths since 2010.

 

Those statistics are just the beginning:

 

  • 1 in 4 unintentional injury child deaths are caused by motor vehicle crashes.
  • 80% of children killed as a passenger were sitting in the rear seat.
  • 32% of children were unrestrained.
  • From 2001 to 2010, around 20% of child passenger deaths were caused by a drunk driver.

 

Thankfully, even though auto accident fatalities in Florida are still on the rise, the rate of children who are killed in auto accidents has been declining since 1975. There is still much work to be done, though, and it starts with you, your children, and your behavior behind the wheel.

 

What You Can Do To Keep Your Kids Safe

 

Car Accident Attorneys in South Florida

Want to prevent your child from becoming a statistic? It’s simple: practice safe driving habits. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t speed or run traffic stops. Keep your eyes on the road, and don’t let your children (or anything, for that matter) distract you when you’re behind the wheel.

 

Set an example for your children. The best way to get them to buckle up in your car and other cars is to buckle up yourself. Seatbelts are not just for kids, and it’s not just for your safety. A whopping 40% of children who drove with unbelted drivers were also not wearing their seatbelts.

 

If your child is under the age of 13, they should be in a booster seat. If you are unsure about which booster or car seat is most appropriate for your child, do some research.

 

While we’re at it, here’s a reminder that not all child deaths in the car happen because of a crash. Never leave your child alone in a closed car. This is particularly important during the summer months when temperatures are at their highest, but even in cooler weather, cars can heat up incredibly fast.

 

Recognize That There Is Always Risk

 

The sad truth is that you can do everything “right” and still get in a car crash. Even the safest drivers cannot control the actions of negligent drivers, whether they are on the road with you or – worse – driving your child.

 

If your child is injured in a crash due to another’s negligence, you owe it to them to seek out compensation for medical, financial, and other related damages and to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. Not only can this serve to help you and your family to recover during a trying time, it may also help to shine a spotlight on a serious issue and prevent another child from getting hurt in the same way.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.