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Florida Personal Injury Accidents – Child Injury – Expert Advice

October 7, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Personal Injury Accidents Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Child Arm Injury and more

Question: My daughter, who just turned 4, was hit on the elbow by another
child in after school care. Her arm was swollen and she couldn’t move it. This was
documented in an accident report by her care provider “hit by another child.”
After calling her pediatrician, I took her to ER right away as instructed. The
ER report states it is an arm injury, and fortunately no major broken bones
were seen on x-ray. The report also says x-ray can’t identify minor fractures. If no
chronic problems, hopefully out-of-pocket expense from this injury won’t be
too much. In this case should the child who hit or the day care be
responsible for the medical expense?

There is another child in her pre-school class who is known to be a bit
violent, the “one” in the class. My daughter has told me many times that
this boy chased her, scared her, pushed her, etc. At drop off time I also
observed this boy tore apart classroom equipment, hit and threw toys,
intimidated other kids, etc. This boy is on the teacher’s radar most of the
time. But I still feel uncomfortable even though so far no visible damage to
my daughter. After all school has started for less than a month and the
teacher couldn’t be watching the boy in every minute. Legally is there
anything I could do to prevent any potential damage to my child? Many thanks!

Answer: Your email does not indicate what state you live in.  I am a
Florida accident lawyer specializing in Florida person injury accidents, auto accident injuries,
and Florida workers compensation claims.  I can
only advise you on what the law is in Florida, so it is best that you speak
to an accident attorney in your area to find out what rights you may have.

Most after school facilities have insurance for the type of incident you
have described.  Their insurance usually includes "medical payments
coverage", or Medpay.  Medpay is a type of insurance coverage that pays for
medical bills which arise out of an injury that occurs at the school.  If
you have incurred out of pocket medical bills, you should speak to the
school to find out whether they have medpay coverage.  If so, you need to
submit the bills to the school’s insurance company and they will be repaid
to you.

As for the the child causing the problems, a school is held responsible for
dangerous conditions which they know about, or should know about, and their
failure to protect the children at the school from the dangers.  Another
child in the class that is violent, or continually chases and pushes the
other children, is a dangerous condition that the school remains responsible
for if the child causes injury to another child.

Your email doesn’t indicate if the violent child is the one that hit your
child.  If so, I would make sure the school has it documented through an
incident report.  I would also speak to other parents with children in the
class.  If the violent child is doing this to your child, it is most likely
happening to other children in the class.  The parents of the other children
should make sure to document any other incidents that occur with the violent
child.

If it turns out that your child’s arm injury is more serious than originally
thought, your child through you as the parent, has a claim for the injury,
medical bills, and other damages such as pain and suffering, against the
school for failing to properly supervise the children.  If the injury turns
out to be a serious one, you should speak with an attorney that specializes
in premises liability claims.  The attorney can advise you what the law is
in your area for incidents such as your daughters.

You should contact an attorney soon.  There are many steps your attorney
should take now, i.e. notify the insurance company for the school, and find
out what types of coverage are available.  There are also statutes of
limitations which may apply and preclude you from bringing a claim if you wait too long.  In Florida personal injury accidents, the statute of limitations on a negligence claim is four years, unless it is a public school.  There are special rules which apply to governmental entities such as public schools.

Most attorneys specializing in premises liability claims handle the claims
on a contingent basis,i.e. the attorneys fee is a percentage of any money
they recover for you, and offer a free, no-obligation consultation to
discuss whether you have a viable case.

For more information about Florida personal injury accidents, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today.

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