What To Do If Your Child Is Bitten By A Dog

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

If your child recently was bitten by a neighbor's dog, it is likely you are very distraught about the incident. When medical bills are an issue, hiring an attorney will be necessary to help in proving the neighbor was negligent in how they had handled the confinement of their pet. Here are some steps you can take to aid in proving your neighbor was at fault for your child's injury.

Get Medical Documentation For Each Visit

Any medical information you receive from your child's doctor is useful in proving how injuries happened. If the dog left teeth marks on the skin, your doctor's physician will take photographs of them as well as imprints if requested. This will show the dog was definitely the one that had caused the injury to happen. Make sure your child goes to all follow-up appointments and that they take any prescribed medication as directed.

Have Surveillance Done Of The Neighboring Property

Setting up surveillance of the neighbor's home will aid in showing their dog is a hazard to those in the community. Your attorney will hire a private investigator on your behalf to watch the property and any actions that take place if you desire. This is an invaluable way to collect information to show the dog attacks without being provoked.

Contact Others In The Area For Similar Stories

If there are others in the neighborhood who had incidents with the dog that had bitten your child, their words can be useful in a court of law. Ask others in the area about encounters they had with the dog and the neighbor. If you find someone with information that is useful, ask them to contact your attorney right away.

To find out more about dog bite cases, check out this website: http://www.lntlb.com/Practice-Areas/dog-bite-lawyer-los-angeles. You can then contact us for a consultation if desired.


Distressing Increase in Bouncy House Injuries

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Inflatable amusements, or bouncy houses as they are more commonly known, are a major magnet for children at any party, or carnival. However, the number of injuries involving children and these bouncy houses has been on the increase.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has released a report based on an analysis of statistics between 2003 and 2013. The statistics find an estimated 113,272 injuries resulting from bouncy house accidents during this 10- year period. More than 90% of the injuries were associated with moon bounces. Between 2011 and 2013, approximately 60% of the injuries involved children between the ages of four and 15. Apart from these injuries, there were 12 fatalities linked to bouncy houses reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission between 2003 and 2013.

These injuries are not new, but they have only recently garnered attention because the numbers seem to be increasing. In 2015 alone, there were several serious accidents in Colorado, and New York. In one incident, a bouncy house was blown by strong gusts of wind across a field.

In 2012, the Center for Injury Research and Policy published a report of such injuries in the Pediatrics Journal, and found that there had been a 15-fold increase in the number of such injuries between 1995 and 2010.

Part of the reason for this increase in injuries is the fact the bouncy houses have simply become more popular with parents. Another reason is that many of these bouncy houses now come in do-it-yourself kits, that parents and other adults can assemble on their own. Mistakes made while assembling a kit can prove devastating.

Parents Develop Devices, Apps to Prevent Hot Car Deaths

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

There are no federally-approved devices or technologies that a parent can use to reduce the risk that he or she will leave a child behind in a hot car, and walk away. In the absence of any such technology, a number of parents across the country are using their own imaginations to develop devices and apps that can be used by other parents to reduce the risk of such a catastrophe.

Every year, there are hundreds of heatstroke-related incidents involving children who were left behind in cars. In most of these cases, Los Angeles car accident lawyers find that the children are rescued in time, when the parent remembers that the child is in the car, or when a passerby notices the child, and calls emergency help. However, in many cases, the children suffer severe heatstroke and suffocate as the temperatures in the locked car rise.

These are the kind of errors that no parent could ever imagine making. However, they are more frequent and more common than believed. According to Kids and Cars, every year, there are at least 38 fatalities involving heatstroke in children who were left behind in hot cars.

The auto industry has failed to develop any devices or technologies that would help alert parents when they are in danger of walking away from a locked car with their child inside. However, that hasn't stopped imaginative parents around the country, from developing technologies to help prevent such disasters. These technologies include everything from sensor systems that are embedded in car seats and would actually alert the parent when he walks away from the locked car with the child still inside, to smart phone apps that warn the parent to check the backseat once again, when he turns off the car.

Halloween in Southern California: A Time for Fun and Caution to Prevent Injuries to Children

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

At Halloween, similar injuries to children happen every year: burn injuries that are the result of flammable costumes; slip and falls on neighborhood sidewalks from poorly maintained roads and ill-fitting costumes that drag on the ground; pedestrian accidents that lead to injury and wrongful death are also common. These can arise from negligent drivers who do not see children in dark costumes and excited children who do see cars because of poor visibility from costume masks. Since most trick-or-treating takes place near dusk or just after dark, the dangers are exacerbated by what may be inadequate street lighting. When streets are lined with trick-or-treaters, drivers must take extreme precaution to avoid causing a Halloween tragedy.  

Since California is so densely populated and so spread out with suburbs and track homes dotting the landscape, neighborhoods will be filled with young children looking for candy at the same time that commuters will be returning home from work. The combination can be risky. Safety precautions when crossing streets should be adhered to even more vigorously during Halloween in Southern California.  

Kids aren’t the only people at risk of Halloween-related tragedy. Candles used to illuminate jack-o-lanterns and other festive décor are often the cause of house fires. Children and pets can easily knock such candles over.  Additionally, electrical decorations and outdoor holiday lights often overburden electrical strips and lead to fires. This can put all members of a family at risk.  

For tips on how to stay safe this Halloween, see the Consumer Protection Safety Commission’s website: http://www.cpsc.gov/

Another Defective Baby Product Recall Shines Light on Dangers to Children

Thursday, August 23, 2012
Bumbo baby chairs were recalled in the early weeks of August due to reports of the potential for injury to more children. The South African company that makes the chairsand the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled nearly 4 million of the seats after the number of injuries associated with the chairs became particularly alarming. According to a report in the US News and World Report, since 2007, there have been more than 84 babies who fell from the seats. 21 infants suffered skull fractures (http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/08/16/bumbo-recall-shows-how-companies-deal-with-faulty-products?s_cid=rss:bumbo-recall-shows-how-companies-deal-with-faulty-products).  Some experts are wondering if the company did all it could to assure parents that their children were safe. The same question can be asked of all companies that make products for children.

The company originally recalled 1 million of their seats back in 2007 and began issuing greater safety warnings about the proper use of the Bumbo chair. The main issue revolves around the misuse of the chair. If it is used on a raised surface like a countertop or table, a child can fall out and suffer head trauma. Despite the "WARNING" that appears on the seat which reads "Never use on a raised surface. Never use as a car seat or bath seat. Designed for floor level use only. Never leave your baby unattended as the seat is not designed to be totally restrictive and may not prevent release of your baby in the event of vigorous movement." Regardless of those warnings, five years later, children continue to be harmed.Thus, the latest recall.

Many parents and their babies use the product safely—profits are in the tens of millions of dollars for Bumbo International—but the company is issuing a restraint device that must be put in the chair. It is a seatbelt that is supposed to prevent a baby from falling out. Since the vast majority of these chairs are used safely, does the company bear any responsibility especially when the children who were injured were placed in dangerous circumstances? The injured children fell when the chair was placed on an elevated surface.  The warnings, apparently, were not enough. 

What else could the company have done?

Five years ago personal injury and child safety lawyers brought a suit against Bumbo asking that the company insert a safety harness. Instead, the company re-emphasized the safety warnings, but now they have conceded and the safety belts will be included. Shouldn’t they have included the seat belts much earlier? 

What should a company do when their products are misused and lead to injuries? This an extremely difficult question to answer because the warnings should be adequate for most reasonable people. If a company has warned of hazards and they provide a relatively safe product while emphasizing that the product must be used correctly, that might be enough to protect the company from liability suits and may be enough to provide safety to consumers. But when the product is made for children, the stakes are higher. A company, like Bumbo, faces a public relations nightmare if they appear to disregard the safety of children. Public distrust beswift if child safety is not paramount. 

Mattel recalled hundreds of thousands of toys that were painted with toxic paint in 2007. That same year, Graco and Simplicity cribs were recalled after they led to the death of several infants. As recently as 2011, jogging strollers from a major manufacturer were recalled because of a choking hazard. As is the case with many products, until they are used en-masse, no one can say for certain that they are safe. 

Perhaps most important when a product for toddlers and babies is deemed unsafe is the speed with which the company responds to complaints and reports of injuries. Mike Rozembajgier, an expert on recalled products atStericycleExpertRecall, says “Speed is a necessary component” of responding to consumer complaints, especially when toddlers and babies are being harmed. “But it’s also important that companies get the fix right” (http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2012/0815/Bumbo-baby-seats-unsafe-at-any-height). 

Whether flammable pajamas, car seats that cannot be installed correctly, or toys that have been manufactured using unsafe materials, children face a host of unexpected risks. Companies, of course, must do all that they can to ensure safety but at some point the quest for profit must trump safety.  In addition to avoiding numerous lawsuits related to toddler and baby injuries, Bumbo International may have saved their public image by issuing a recall.  

Sports Injuries to Children: On the Playground, in the Gym, but Rarely in the Courts

Wednesday, August 01, 2012
LOS ANGELES—For most children and teens, playing soccer, basketball, baseball, football or participating in another athletic experience leads to a lifetime of memories. Most of the time, these are fond memories. However, in recent years, the number of children’s sports injurieshas gone up dramatically. Furthermore, in a recent report by the University of North Carolina’s National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, we learn that 1990 is the only year between 1931 and 2009 that a fatal injury did not occur at some level of high school, college or professional football  (http://www.unc.edu/depts/nccsi/2010Allsport.pdf).  In that nearly eighty year span, one family each year had to confront the pain of a preventable or wrongful death.  Football is not the only athletic activity that leads to death or catastrophic injury, however. 

In 2008, Lauren Chang was killed performing a cheerleading maneuver. Before her, in 2005, Ashley Burns also died as a direct result of a cheerleading accident (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/cheerleader-dies/story?id=4693144). For many girls, cheerleading results in paralysis, concussion, broken bones, and other impacts that are more difficult to quantify.  

In 2004, 14 year-old Brittany Noffke fell while practicing a cheerleading maneuver at her Wisconsin high school. She suffered a skull fracture, serious concussion, and brain damage. The physical pain healed after several months, but Brittany continued to struggle with debilitating anxiety and depression. The family’s medical bills also contributed to their eventual bankruptcy. Brittany and her family are not alone in the suffering they endured. 

Concussions for male and female athletes; ligament tears; spinal injuries; heat stroke; broken limbs and brain damage can all result from school sponsored sports, physical education classes and club activities including cheerleading and dance team participation. With the extensive information available, perhaps such injuries will begin to decrease in numbers. The efforts of certain organizations may be educating the public, the parents, the players, and the coaches involved.

Organizations like the Sports Medicine Center for Young Athletes at the Children’s Hospital of Oakland offer extensive information on how to prevent and treat child sports injuries (http://www.childrenshospitaloakland.org/healthcare/depts/sports_medicine.asp). However, the authorities have a major advantage if a personal injury suit is ever filed on behalf of a child. Even if the safety information is available, what is the motivation for school districts, youth sports leagues, and other such entities to prioritize safety? They are almost never held liable. 

The Noffke case is just one such instance where the injured teen was unable to getcompensation for injuries. Her case was dismissed. Wisconsin has a Recreational Immunity Law which protected the school district. Personal injury claims related to school sports injuries have recently been dismissed in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.  The legal rationale is that players accept a certain level of risk when they participate in an athletic endeavor. However, where is the line drawn? At what point does risk become negligence or reckless behavior on the part of the guardians and authorities involved? Many NFL players are trying to answer this question with a massive lawsuit against the NFL. Of course NFL players accept a certain risk when they agree to play a game and get well-compensated for it. But at what point does an organization take responsibility for protecting its players? If school districts are almost always immune from paying damages, there seems to be little legal incentive to make sure players and performers participate safely. 

The vast majority of players and participants do not suffer catastrophic injuries as the result of participating in athletic events.  But there are cases throughout the country of children being pushed to try more dangerous cheerleading maneuvers, hit the ball farther, and increase their speed and size to inflict greater damage on their opponents. Furthermore, the injuries are happening to younger and younger children. 

The recent lawsuit filed on behalf of NFL players has brought increased scrutiny to the role of concussions in professional football. However, concussions are a significant problem in every contact sport and cheerleading. Furthermore, if a teen or young child suffers a concussion and continues to play in a game, the long term damage can be catastrophic. The American College of Sports Medicine and other concerned organizations report that each year 60, 000 high school athletes sustain a concussion (http://www.npr.org/2011/02/02/133437361/doctors-throw-flags-on-high-school-concussions). For pre-teens, the numbers may not be as high but the damage to a young brain can be even worse because their brains are still developing. Thankfully, national awareness may be leading to change. 

30 states have laws that make coaches bench players who have been injured or may have suffered a concussion. Now that there are laws specifically designed to protect young players, violations of those laws may lead to successful lawsuits that do a better job of holding authorities liable. No doubt, these lawsuits are on the horizon for a wide-variety of reasons. But one of the reasons may be that in a culture obsessed with winning, the short-term satisfaction of victory may lead to catastrophic injury if safety is not a priority. With increased emphasis on better performance, greater achievement, and winning at all costs, the team may win but individual children will continue to suffer.  

Mother Files Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit against Day Care Center

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Most Los Angeles sexual abuse lawyers are familiar with sex abuse cases involving day care centers or schools. A woman in Orange County, Florida recently filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against her child's daycare center.

According to the lawsuit, the child was 6 at the time of the abuse. He was abused by another older child at the same center. According to the complaint, when the mother picked up her child at the center one day, he told her that he had been molested by another boy. This was not the first time this had happened. The abuse allegedly occurred at least 5 times.

The boy had to undergo therapy, and suffered severe emotional distress and anguish. The abuse took place in the playroom when the 2 boys constructed a fort. Inside the fort, the older boy had unrestricted and unsupervised access to the younger child. The older boy denies any sexual misconduct.

The mother has now filed a lawsuit against the day care center, accusing the center of negligence and misrepresentation. According to the mother, when she went to admit her child to the day care center, the facility owners informed her that they had closed-circuit cameras in every room in order to ensure the security of the children. However, they later found that none of the rooms had cameras installed.

In this case, the mother became aware of the abuse quickly. However, this doesn't often happen. Many times, children are too afraid to report the abuse to their parents, or believe that the abusive behavior is normal, and not out of the ordinary. In such cases, it falls back on parents to keep their eyes and ears open. Look for signs of abuse like bedwetting, thumb sucking, regression, and dropping school grades.

Los Angeles Pedestrian Accidents Spike Around on Halloween

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The risks of a child being involved in a pedestrian accident are much higher on Halloween than during any other night of the year.  This particular night every year, approximately 4,000 children between the age of five and 14 are injured in pedestrian accidents, compared to 1,000 children during the rest of the year. 

It's not just the fact that there are more numbers of enthusiastic little children on the streets.  It's also the fact that these children are in cumbersome costumes that can cause them to trip and fall while walking on a crosswalk, or prevent them from seeing the road clearly.  Besides, ornate masks and eye gear might obstruct visibility, preventing the child from noticing your car.  Driving in Los Angeles can be a challenge any day of the year, but Los Angeles child injury lawyers would encourage extra special care on Halloween.

Obviously, driving under the influence increases your risk of striking a little child.  Also, ensure that your attention is 100% focused on the road by switching off your cell phone.  Be prepared for little children darting from behind cars or at intersections. 

Parents can minimize the risks of an accident involving their little ones by making sure that they chaperone or escort their children on Halloween.   For very young kids, opt for a group celebration at a common venue instead.  Teach your child basic traffic safety rules, and avoid visiting busy streets.  Give your child a flashlight or glow stick to make him easily visible to drivers.  Keep the costume simple, and avoid long flowing gowns that can trip your child.  Avoid elaborate masks and huge hats that can reduce visibility.  Bright reflective costumes can make your child more visible to motorists.  If the costume is dark, add reflective strips to it.




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