Child Injury

What to do if Your Child has Been Injured in a Car Accident

Category: Child Injury |

The thought that your child could be involved in a car accident is frightening. You never want to consider the possibility that your child could be injured. However, it happens far too often. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. There are important things you should consider doing if your child has been in a car accident. Seek Medical Help One of the most important things you can do for your child after an accident is to make sure they are examined by a doctor. Sometimes younger children aren’t able to express clearly that they are injured in some way or they may not appear injured at first glance. Let a doctor make the determination about whether your child is injured. Prompt medical treatment is not only good for the health of your child, but it can also help build your case for compensation. Because of their size and immaturity, children can sustain even more serious injuries than an adult would in a car accident. Head injuries are the most common trauma sustained by children in an accident. In some cases, seatbelt or car seat injuries can occur. Children are also more prone to fractures as the result of an accident. Seek Legal Help If your child has been injured, you may want to consider seeking legal help to pursue compensation for any damages they’ve sustained. Your child has the same legal rights that an adult would have in pursuing a car accident claim. Under the law, a parent can pursue a claim on behalf of their child. Parents are also entitled to compensation for the money they have paid for the child’s medical bills.  Even if you were not the driver of the car involved in the accident, your car insurance will still cover your child. In addition, if your child was seriously injured, you may be able to pursue a claim against a negligent driver. It is important to seek legal help as soon as possible after an accident. Younger children may not be able to recall what happened during an accident, so it is important to track down witnesses that can describe what happened. Give the attorney time to investigate the accident. Contact a Florida Accident Attorney If your child has been injured in a car accident, you may want to have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping Floridians injured in car accidents. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation today. 

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School Bus Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

According to the US Government Accountability Office(GAO), from 2000-2014 there was an average of 115 fatal school bus crashes in the United States each year. In the Tampa Bay area, the number of school bus accidents is on the rise. When we put our child on a school bus, we trust that they will safely arrive at school and safely come home again. School bus drivers should have specialized driver training and exercise extraordinary care to ensure the safety of their young passengers and other motorists or pedestrians. But sometimes things don’t go as planned due to either the negligence of a driver, defects in the bus, or negligence on the part of a school district. Driver Negligence A school bus driver who drives aggressively, speeds, or drives while distracted or impaired should be held liable if this dangerous negligence results in an accident with injuries. School bus drivers have a responsibility to exercise the utmost care to ensure the safety of the children on the bus as well as other drivers and passengers on the road. Other drivers on the road can also be negligent and cause a school bus accident. Dangerous Roadways Roadways that are improperly maintained or poorly designed can also result in serious school bus accidents. Improper Screening and Training of Drivers In addition to keeping your child safe while at school, the school district has a responsibility to keep your child safe while they are transported on a school bus. A school district should adequately screen bus drivers and make sure they have clean driving records. School districts should also ensure that all drivers are properly licensed and pass a drug screening. Once drivers are hired, the district has a duty to make sure that they are appropriately trained. School bus drivers are required to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with a special School Bus (S) designation. This designation is given to drivers who pass a written exam and skills test. School bus drivers must also have Passenger (P) designation on their license which also requires a written and skills test. Driving a school bus can present some unique challenges for a driver. Given the number of children on most buses, it can be easy for a driver to become distracted. School districts should provide training to drivers on how to handle these potential distractions and safely drive with a bus full of rowdy students. In addition, school bus drivers should also be trained on how to handle safety issues to protect students. Improper Maintenance of the School Bus School districts must ensure that buses are properly maintained and inspected on a regular basis. Drivers are required to inspect the bus daily to ensure that it is in good working order. Any failure to properly maintain or inspect the bus could have deadly consequences. Defects in the School Bus Sometimes an accident can be caused by a defect in the design or manufacturing of the bus. In those cases, the manufacturer of the bus can be held liable in a product liability case. Contact an Experienced Attorney If you or your child has been injured in a school bus accident, you should have an attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk onlineor call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.

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Florida Car Seat Laws and Recommendations

Category: Car Accidents |

Keeping children safe is a full-time job for parents. One of the most important parts of this job is keeping children safe in the car. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children. The proper use of car safety seats can save the lives of children. Car seat safety laws vary depending on the jurisdiction, and Florida has specific laws that must be followed to keep your child safe. But these laws may not always go far enough, so we’ve included some recommendations on car safety as well. Florida Car Seat Law Florida law requires that children age 5 and under be secured properly in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device. Children ages 0-3 must be in a car seat, while children 4-5 can be in either a car seat or a booster seat. Recommendations Both the American Academy of Pediatrics  (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used to recommend that parents keep their children in car seats that are rear-facing until the age of 2 years, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for the car seat as specified by the manufacturer. In August of 2018, the AAP changed their guidelines and now recommends that children remain in rear-facing car seats as long as possible. When a child rides rear-facing, the head, neck, and spine are supported by the hard shell of the car seat, and the car seat absorbs most of the crash forces. The AAP also advises parents to keep children in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old or over 4 feet 9 inches tall.  Booster seats help to ensure that the car’s seat belt fits properly and safely over the child’s shoulder and across the lap to provide better protection. Car seats and booster seats should always be installed in vehicles according to the seat’s owner’s manual Children in the Front Seat Florida law does not prohibit children from riding in the front seat of a vehicle. However, the CDC recommends that all children aged 12 and under be buckled in the back seat of the vehicle because airbags can be very dangerous for young children. Buckling children in the middle section of the back seat ensures that they are in the safest spot in the vehicle. Contact an Experienced Attorney. We hope you are never involved in an accident, but if you or your child has been injured contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk or call us 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.

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Why Dog Bites are So Common and How to Avoid Them. From a Lawyer for Dog Bites

Category: Child Injury |

According to insurers and medical facilities, dog bite claims and hospitalizations are on the rise across the country. Why are these preventable tragedies increasing, and what can you do to avoid becoming a victim? Read on to find out. Top reasons for dog bites Strangers approaching the dog. In many situations, this is unavoidable, such as when a postal worker or delivery person must come onto private property in making their rounds. In other circumstances, guests are seriously injured in dog attacks by someone’s pet that is poorly trained or simply out of control.   If a protective dog isn’t used to seeing a person on a daily basis, they may interpret them as an intruder and a threat, plain and simple. Predatory instinct. Like all hunters, dogs naturally have a drive to chase prey. This instinct is often activated when they see a runner or cyclist going past. Many times, these individuals can’t move quickly enough to get away from the dog, either because the dog is faster, or because the terrain (such as hills or wet, slippery roads) makes it impossible. Because of irresponsible owners. This is very likely the number one reason for dog bites across the county. When dogs are untrained, unrestrained, and unsupervised, it’s a recipe for disaster – even if the dog has never bitten someone before. Leaving a dog alone and untethered in a yard – or worse, allowed to roam free – puts the general public at risk.   If you don’t want to be a victim of a dog bite, try to avoid approaching dogs you don’t know. If a dog starts to chase you, stand still and face the dog, but do not make eye contact. If the dog knocks you over, curl up in a ball and cover your head with your hands. Finally, if you were bitten by a dog with an irresponsible owner, consider contacting an attorney and pursuing compensation for your injuries. Talk to an experienced lawyer for dog bites Would you like more information about Florida dog bite laws? Our firm may be able to help. Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk 24 hours a day / 7 days a week at 1-800-753-5203. Call us today for a free evaluation.    

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New Study Ranks Florida 34th for Teen Driving Safety, Reveals Common Causes of Teen Car Accidents

Category: Car Accidents |

A recent study on teen driving issues conducted by WalletHub has ranked Florida as the 34th best state when it comes to all of the issues that teens face behind the wheel About the Study WalletHub used a set of 16 main metrics to which states were the most dangerous for teenage drivers. These metrics ranged from total teen driver fatalities and the average costs of vehicle repairs to the types of impaired driving laws that are on the books in each state. Other Notable Findings According to the findings from the study, New York, Hawaii and Illinois are the best states for teen drivers, while Nebraska, Mississippi and South Dakota are at the bottom of the list. The states with the highest percentages of teenagers with driver’s licenses are Kansas, South Dakota and Iowa. New Mexico, Kentucky and Indiana have the highest rates of teen driver fatalities per licensed teen drivers. Common Risks Facing Teenage Drivers The safety experts involved in the study also discussed some of the most common causes of teen car accidents that young drivers need to know about. Most young drivers are inexperienced with the many safety risks that can arise on the road that older drivers have learned to anticipate over the years. As a result, they may be less likely to scan the road for possible dangers and slower to react when something unexpected occurs. Teen drivers can be more likely to engage in risky behaviors behind the wheel, such as distracted driving, drunk driving and speeding. Teens can often overestimate their driving abilities while underestimating certain safety risks. Have you been seriously injured in a car accident in our area? Call our injury law team today at 1-800-753-5203. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident in our area. Our Clearwater car accident lawyers have been fighting for the rights of victims throughout Florida for over 30 years.

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Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury in Children

Category: Child Injury |

Traumatic brain injuries can result in significant trauma and impact the quality of life for any injury victim. When it comes to traumatic brain injury in children, the long term consequences for these types of injuries can be even more tragic. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, traumatic brain injuries are a leading cause of disability in children in the United States. By understanding the leading causes of traumatic brain injury in children, we can learn how these accidents take place and take steps to protecting young ones from suffering a serious injury. Falls Falls are the number one leading cause of traumatic brain injury for adults and children alike. Falls are responsible for 50% of all TBIs for children aged 0 to 14. Fall rates are highest for children aged 0 to 4 and adults aged 75+. The Brain Injury Association of America reports that some of the leading causes of TBIs caused by falls include poor lighting, throw rugs and obstacles such as throw rugs. Car Accidents Traffic accidents are another leading cause of TBIs for injury victims of all ages, including children. Motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of deaths caused by traumatic brain injury. Colliding with Objects Colliding with objects is the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury for children aged 0 to 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These accidents include injuries that were caused by being struck by a moving object as well striking against a stationary object, such as a piece of furniture. In many instances, cases of traumatic brain injury in children could easily have been prevented if the proper safety precautions had been in place. Using proper lighting and ensuring walkways are clear of debris can lower the risk of a fall taking place. Ensuring young passengers are properly secured while traveling in a vehicle can lower their risk of being serious injured in the event of an accident. Childproofing your home from sharp corners on furniture and ensuring young athletes wear the necessary safety equipment can lower a child’s risk of sustaining a head injury. Have you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence? Call our injury law team today! At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our personal injury lawyers have fought for the rights of traumatic brain injury victims and others for more than 30 years. Call us today at 1-800-753-5203 to find out how our injury attorneys may be able to help you.  

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Child Injury Lawsuits: Dangerous Toys That Might Hurt Your Kids

Category: Child Injury |

Toy safety should be on every parent’s mind when it comes to shopping for new toys for their children. Although many understand the obvious dangers and avoid them, there are some dangers that are less obvious. Read below for more information and a list of dangerous toys: Magnets Dangers associated with children swallowing a small magnet are well-known. However, there is an even greater danger to a child if they swallow more than one magnet and they attach to each other. This can cause blockages and prove fatal. Aspiration risk Another unexpected danger associated with certain toys is the risk of aspiration. For example, children have been harmed when a plush toy’s fur or doll’s hair is pulled out and gets into a child’s mouth. The hair or fur can be breathed back into the lunch thus leading to air constriction and choking. Makeup Kits Although seemingly benign, makeup kits actually pose a risk to children due to the nail polish, eye shadow and lip gloss that are often found in the kits. These substances can contain toxic chemicals and pose an allergen risk. Strangulation Risk Any toys with a rope, cord or string can pose a strangulation hazard to children. Most often this includes toys with netting, detachable laces or toys with jewelry. Unexpected Choking Hazard Many toys have hidden dangers such as small parts that can be removed or untied. Moreover, improperly attached noses or eyes such as on a stuffed animal or buttons that can come off a doll’s clothing are dangerous as well. Wheels from trains, trucks and cars are also a choking hazard. Buying Toys Online Purchasing toys online can be convenient, but it can also be dangerous. When ordering a toy online, you are unable to hold it in your hand and look it over for possible dangers. Therefore, if you order a toy online, be sure to look for that vital information on the site. If it is not posted, you can call the manufacturer or the vendor. Call Now for a No-Cost, No-Obligation Consultation If your child has become injured due to a dangerous toy, call Florida child injury lawyer Abrahamson & Uiterwyk at 1-800-753-5203 for a free consultation.

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Back to School Safety Tips for Preventing Student Backpack Injuries

Category: Child Injury |

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that students sustain over 7,500 backpack-related injuries every year. Student backpack injuries pose a variety of risks for children. Dangers of Backpacks Backpacks pose a serious risk of back injury for kids. They may also cause children to sustain bruises and sprains. In other cases, children may sustain shoulder or back fractures. Backpack Guidelines The American Academy of Pediatrics is aware of the risk of using a backpack. It has set very detailed guidelines regarding the weight that children’s backpacks should not exceed in order to reduce the number of injuries that occur. For example, a backpack should not be more than 10 to 20 percent of the child’s weight. Tips to Reduce Injuries Parents can also take steps to reduce the risk of backpack-related injuries. They can instruct their child to only carry a limited selection of items. These items should be only those that are necessary. Kids should also be told to wear both the straps of the backpack to balance the weight on the child’s body. Fit is another important aspect of preventing backpack-related injuries. The backpack should fit evenly on the middle of the child’s back. However, the straps can be adjusted to provide a better fit and give the children an easier time of removing their backpacks without difficulty. Another helpful tip is to select a backpack that is ergonomically designed. Ergonomic features may include a padded back that provides a more comfortable choice that imposes a lower amount of pressure on the child’s shoulder, back and underarms. Another ergonomic feature is a belt that kids wear around the hip or chest because this allows the child to shift some of the weight to other parts of his or her body. Selecting a backpack that has multiple compartments provides convenient storage and another opportunity to distribute the weight evenly. If your child has been injured, you may need help from a personal injury attorney. Call today. If your child has been injured by a backpack or another reason in school, a Tampa child injury lawyer may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-753-5203 for more information.

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Kids in Danger Report Outlines Dangerous Products for Children

Category: Child Injury |

In recent years, the number of children’s product recalls have been high in spite of an increase in federal regulations concerning product safety. Furthermore, it seems some types of children’s products always end up near the top of the list, which categorizes the most dangerous products each year. Kids in Danger recently released its list for 2012 regarding the most dangerous products for children. These products could include any product that comes into contact with children such as clothing, accessories or toys. What type of products are the most dangerous? The products that show up the most are typically those that are made to be used in nurseries. These types of products make up 31 percent of the products on the list. This is especially troubling since these products are made for the most vulnerable of children such as infants and toddlers. Dangerous Products for children: Products highlighted as dangerous included sleep recliners, which were recalled last year after several reported fatalities. It seems many of the tragic incidents were caused by the child becoming suffocated as a result of a design defect in the recliner. Other dangerous products listed: Other products that appeared on the list were strollers, which can cause injuries when children get their fingers caught in the stroller’s mechanism. Other incidents involving strollers included entrapment hazards occurring when a child gets trapped in between the stroller’s tray and seat. Most dangerous products: Some of the most dangerous products listed were those that involve children’s sleep such as cribs. Cribs that have a drop down side have many recalls from entrapment and strangulation incidents and are now banned thanks to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Other interesting notes in the report’s findings: Children’s product recalls are down 20 percent since 2011. However, incidents are up by 49 percent. Sadly, deaths caused by faulty products are up 200 percent, and injuries are up 42 percent. Put our experienced child injury lawyers to work for you! If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of using a faulty product, call Tampa personal injury lawyer at 1-800-753-5203 for a consultation.

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