Articles Posted in Injuries to Children

Arizona roads are governed by a set of rules or laws that instruct drivers when to stop, when to go, where to turn, and how fast to drive. These laws are in place to keep traffic moving while keeping everyone as safe as possible, ideally limiting the number of collisions that take place and in turn, decreasing the number of injuries caused by accidents in the state.

Failing to follow these laws in Phoenix or in the valley may leave a driver in legal trouble and in need of a lawyer to represent the driver in court. Yet if the driver causes an accident, the legal troubles may be more significant and can even lead to a civil claim by any injury victims against a driver. Car accident lawyers in the area understand that in some cases, these civil claims for damages can be much more severe than any citations issued by the State of Arizona, and often can be brought even when a driver faces no charges at all by the state.

It appears that this could be the case after a Thursday morning collision left two children injured when their school bus was struck by an SUV. Police in Prescott Valley have stated that a 58-year-old male driver failed to stop at a stop sign an entered an intersection when he did not have the right-of-way. He collided with a school bus carrying approximately 44 young children, causing a collision that left at least two of those kids injured and in need of medical treatment.

The injured children were aboard a Humboldt Unified School District bus and were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Authorities have said only that the injured included a 6-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl.

The male driver of the SUV was also hurt though the nature and extent of his injuries remain unknown at this time. Police have reported that the man was cited for failing to stop at the stop sign which caused a collision and that impairment is not suspected in this matter.
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It is always a tragedy when a child is injured or killed through the negligence of an adult who should have been paying attention to the safety of the child, but these events often seem worse when an adult fails to get help for that child after an accident occurs. Unfortunately personal injury lawyers see this too often in the case of a hit-and-run automobile collision that injuries or kills a child who was walking, riding a bicycle, or was riding in a car.

When an accident causes a child to become injured or even to die, the child’s parents or guardians may be entitled to bring a claim for damages on behalf of that child or for their own losses in the event of death. These claims are usually brought against a responsible party, whether that is a driver of a car, owner of a vehicle, or even a company that owns a building or land that produced an accident. Arizona law allows victims to recover by this means but claims must be filed within a statutory time period or they will be void, which is why it is always a good idea to speak with an accident attorney after your child is injured.

Negligent drivers may face much more than just a civil claim for damages if they are involved in a collision that injures a child, though. The State of Arizona may bring traffic or criminal charges against a driver that can result in serious jail time.

Following a summer crash that left an 11-year-old Chandler boy dead, a male defendant was sentenced this week to seven years in prison for his part in the collision that killed the boy, who was riding his bicycle at the time. Chandler police and prosecutors alleged that the man hit the boy with a truck as the boy rode across Arizona Avenue earlier this summer. Instead of stopping, the man fled the scene without checking to see if the boy was hurt and without alerting police.

The defendant returned to the scene some time later with his father, a retired Chandler police officer, and was arrested and charged for leaving the scene of a fatal crash. He was also sentenced this week to an additional five years on an unrelated drug charge.
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A Gilbert boy lost his life after being mauled by three pit bull dogs owned by his babysitter recently. He was just two years old.

Police have reported that a 28-year-old woman was watching the boy and his four siblings in her home as she had done on previous occasions. The woman began babysitting for the family about 10 years ago and knew the children, though most of the time she watched the kids in the family’s home. All five of the children reportedly had special needs and were adopted by a couple who wanted to provide them with a good home.

The children were in the babysitter’s home when something happened and the babysitter’s dogs began to attack. There were four pit bull mixes in the house and three of them began to maul the two-year-old boy who was unable to defend himself. The babysitter attempted to break up the attack and was seriously injured herself during the fight. She called 911 for help and responding officers performed CPR on the young child but unfortunately his injuries were too severe and he died.

The babysitter underwent surgery to repair her injuries and when she awoke, she consented to have the three dogs that attacked the child euthanized. The fourth dog was not involved and is currently being held by Animal Control but will be returned to the woman upon her release from the hospital.

This is a tragic example of dogs turning on small children when there is no indication that the dogs had been aggressive in the past. But the past behavior of a dog is never a guarantee of how the dog will act in the future.

Arizona law makes dog owners responsible for the injuries caused by their dogs regardless of where an attack occurs and whether the dog has been aggressive in the past. This means that even if a dog bites someone once, the owner of that dog can be immediately liable to the victim. This can include financial liability for any medical bills incurred or in the tragic case where a victim is killed, the loss of a loved one’s life as provided to surviving family members.
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Police were called to investigate a crash on Tuesday morning between a car and three children who were waiting for a school bus. At this time, the police believe that the 18-year-old female driver may have been distracted behind the wheel, causing her not to see the children and causing a collision.

The incident occurred in Buckeye near the intersection of 309th Avenue and Lynwood, shortly after 7:00 a.m. The woman was reportedly driving eastbound on Lynwood with six children on the west side of the intersection waiting to be picked up by a school bus. The driver allegedly did not see any of the children and struck three of them with her car, a Ford Taurus. She remained at the scene and spoke with police but at this time, she has not received any traffic citations.

The three children who were hit have been reported as males ages 6, 7, and 13. All three were transported to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for treatment but are expected to make full recoveries. Some initial reports indicated that the children all faced life threatening injuries while others described the accident as resulting mostly in bumps and bruises, but at this time, all three boys have been released from the hospital.

It is every parent’s nightmare to learn that their child has been involved in an accident and has been injured. Unfortunately, over 184,000 children are seriously injured in auto accidents every year in the United States and 1,300 children under the age of 14 are killed. Many parents believe that their children will be safe while waiting for a school bus in the morning but as this crash illustrates, that is not always the case.

Police believe that the driver in this accident may have been distracted at the time of the crash. Arizona law makes it illegal to drive while distracted and also makes it a legal violation to risk the safety of others while driving. Yet here, a relatively young driver claims she did not see six children and struck three of them. If these allegations are proved to be correct, it might prove that something was keeping the driver’s attention from the road.
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A three-year-old boy is dead following a Saturday afternoon car crash in Phoenix and several other people in the same car were injured. Phoenix police responded to the accident and stated that the boy was not wearing a seat belt or otherwise restrained in the crash and was ejected upon impact.

The three-year-old was riding in a minivan driven by a 26-year-old female. Also in the van were a five-year-old, seven-year-old, and 15-year-old children. Authorities report that the driver of the van ran a red light near Broadway Road and Central Avenue in Phoenix and entered the intersection when cross traffic had the right of way. The minivan entered the path of travel of a pickup truck which struck the minivan and caused it to roll over onto its roof. Upon impact, the three-year-old was ejected from the vehicle through a window and landed on the ground.

Police have reported that the female driver and at least two of the four children in the car were not wearing seat belts in the crash and it is not clear if any other occupants sustained injuries. No one in the truck was hurt in the accident and everyone in the truck was wearing a seat belt. It is also not clear if the driver of the minivan has been charged in connection with the crash but police state that their investigation is ongoing.

One of the most common reasons car accidents occurs is that one driver fails to yield the right of way to another. Whether it occurs at a stop sign, a red light, or while attempting to merge, accidents that occur because one driver failed to yield can be deadly. This is more likely to be the case when both vehicles are traveling at a high rate of speed like at an intersection where neither vehicles slows before impact. The greater the speed, the greater the force of the impact and the more likely that injuries or death will result.

Many times, drivers who are stopped after running a red light claim that the light just turned yellow or just turned red and that the driver thought it was not a big deal. In actuality, the traffic lights in any city are timed with specificity to increase safety at intersections. Failing to abide by the local laws and ignoring these lights is not only a crime but also a serious threat to the safety of everyone on the road.
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Hey dummy!

No. Not you. We’re talking about the new child dummy that’s going to help keep your kid safe in the event of a car accident in Phoenix. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there’s a brand new kid dummy that was recently unveiled. This little dummy is going to help test our car seats and booster seats that were created for child who weight more than 65 pounds and less than 80 pounds. The new “10-year-old kid” dummy is the latest addition to the family of NHTSA test dummies. It’s now considered to be the best tool out there that can measure the risks of injury for children who use higher-weight car seats in the event of an accidentAs car seat manufacturer’s work to create more specific car seats to meet the needs of consumers and their children, it is getting tougher and tougher to test each seat thoroughly because there are so many kinds available. The new dummy is helping researchers to tackle these new child car seats with the new weight requirements.

Our Phoenix child injury attorneys understand that car accidents are the leading cause of death for those aged 3- to 14-years-old. According to the NHTSA, there were nearly 1,500 children of this young age group who were killed in car accidents across the nation in 2009. In addition to these fatalities, there were another 200,000 young passengers who were injured in these types of incidents. This means that about 4 kids were killed and another 490 were injured in these crashes every single day. A large number of these injuries and deaths could have been prevented if these children were properly buckled into an appropriate car seat. Parents, it’s up to you to make sure these little ones are securely fastened during every car ride. Without you, their chances for surviving a car accident are minimal, at best.

“It’s good news that manufacturers are making more car seats and boosters than ever before designed to keep older and heavier children safer on our roadways,” said U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

The new dummy was created by researchers to help keep up with the new car seat requirements released from the NHTSA. The new dummy is helping researchers to look at the risk of injuries using head and knee excursions, in addition to chest acceleration. The NHTSA recently announced a final rule to include kid car seats and booster seats for heavier children. The new rule amends with the currently federal child car seat standard.

If you’re having trouble determining which car seat your child should ride in, visit the NHTSA’s Car Seat Recommendations for Children web page.
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A new website, “Car Seat Safety for Kids,” recently went live and replaced the “Keeping Kids Safe During Crashes” site. This website is hosted by the Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program and the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) and helps parents to reduce the risks of injury to children in Phoenix and elsewhere. This website serves as a one-stop shop for information regarding child passenger safety (CPS). Through this website, new videos are offered to help parents stay up-to-date with the latest child car seat recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).”This site brings together research expertise and practical experience,” says Suzanne Hill, director of Advocacy and Outreach at CIRP.

Our Phoenix car accident lawyers understand that this website is a beneficial tool in helping current parents and expectant parents prepare and better protect child passengers. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children age 3- to 14-years-old. Statistics reveal that nearly 9,000 lives were saved because of child restraints from 1975 to 2008. As we stated before, there were nearly 37,500 people killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2008. Of these fatalities, children under the age of 14 accounted for nearly 5 percent. It’s it our responsibility as safe drivers, parents and guardians to ensure that our young passengers are properly buckled up during every car ride.

In 2008 in Arizona, there were nearly 35 children under the age of 14 who were killed in car crashes.

For every child who dies in a motor-vehicle accident, another 400 children are treated for injuries. Using the proper safety seat can help to reduce these alarming risks.

Car Seat Recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

-Children under the age of 1: These young passengers should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.

-Children ages 1- to 3-years-old: Children should remain in a rear-racing car seat for as long as possible. When they reach the rear-facing seat’s height and weight requirement, it’s time to graduate them to a front-facing car seat with a harness.

-Children ages 4- to 7- years-old: These children should ride in a forward-facing car seat for as long as they can (until they reach the seat’s height and weight requirements). When they exceed the seat’s requirements, it’s time to put them in a booster seat.

-Children ages 8- to 12-years-old: These children should remain in a booster seat for as long as possible. When they outgrow their booster seat, it’s time to let them ride like a grownup. When placing them in an adult seat with a seat belt, make sure that the seat belt lies snugly across their upper thighs and that the shoulder portion lies snug across the shoulder and chest area, not the neck.

It’s important to keep children in the back seat for as long as possible. Children are safer in the back seat away from the air bag. Their little bodies can’t sustain impact from the airbags like adult bodies can.

Parents are urged to visit the new “Car Seat Safety for Kids” website and to stay well-informed of the latest child seat safety news and technology. Education is the best way to help reduce the risks of injury in the event of an accident for your young riders.
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An Arizona school bus vs. dump truck accident last week has resulted in injuries to four kids and a bus driver, according to ABC news. The collision occurred at approximately 6:50 AM on Monday as the school bus was stopped to load children in the area of 56th and Missouri avenues in Glendale.

At the time of impact, two girls were getting on the bus and two children and the bus driver were already on board, according to Glendale police. The two kids boarding the bus were seriously injured. All five were taken by ambulance to an area hospital. None of the injuries are reportedly life-threatening.

The bus was stopped in the roadway in the right lane of Missouri Avenue. Witnesses to the incident say that the school bus had its stop sign raised. Police did not know why the dump truck failed to stop.

A spokesperson from the Glendale Police Department used the accident as an opportunity to remind the public to use extra caution in the area of school buses, further stating that it is against the law to pass a school bus when it’s octagon stop sign is out, and that under Arizona law motorists on both sides of the street must come to a stop and can only resume driving when the bus starts to move.

According to safemotorist.com, more than 23 million students travel to school on school buses. The website gives many safety tips to avoid collisions with students and school buses, such as:

When exiting your driveway be on the lookout for kids walking or bicycling to school;

Use extra caution when traveling through school zone areas;

Be on the lookout for kids walking in the street, especially when there are no sidewalks; and
Slow down when in the area of children waiting and playing at bus stops.

Phoenix injury lawyers at our office are currently working on two separate school bus accident cases. Children involved in this type of collision are very susceptible to injury, as they are typically not seat belted and can be thrown around during impact.
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Drivers can take a few easy actions while driving to reduce the risk of injury or death in an Arizona car crash. Sometimes it’s just as easy is remembering to wear your seat belt and making sure that your kids do the same.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently reported that some of the old and true methods of safety are still more significant than the advancements of technology in new cars. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers agree that buckling up is one of the biggest safety factors in the event of a collision. In 2009, more than 12,700 lives were spared when people took the time to put on their seat belts. Tragically, research shows that around 3700 lives of children ages 4 and above could have been saved if seat belts were used. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in the year 2009 more than 32,000 people nationwide lost their lives in motor vehicle collisions.On a positive note, the rate of people buckling up has increased significantly over the past 10 years. Safety advocates believe this improvement is due to law enforcement actions and a greater number of states passing seat belt laws. In 2010 it is estimated that approximately 85% of drivers are buckling up.

“Primary seat belt laws” that have been passed make it permissive for police to stop a motorist for not wearing his or her seatbelt. Over 30 states now have this type of law in place. Unfortunately, Arizona does not yet have a primary law in place for all motorists.

Arizona is currently still a “secondary enforcement” state. Police can issue a seat belt citation during a traffic stop for another violation, but they cannot pull a driver over solely for a seat belt violation.

Adults can help prevent child fatalities by properly seat belting them during all driving trips. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently changed some of its recommendations regarding child safety belt use. They recommend that children be placed in rear facing car seats until the age of two, or until they’ve reached the height and weight limitations of the car seat. Once the child has exceeded the limitations, they recommend to switch them to a front facing child seat.

Properly installing a car seat is unfortunately not easy. It is estimated that more than 70% of parents are misusing their child’s safety seat. CarSafety.org is a good site to visit for reviews on car seats and they also provide instructions on how to properly install the seat in a vehicle. If unsure if the seat is properly installed, most local fire departments and/or police departments have officers available to take a look at your car seat and see if it was properly installed. After the child has outgrown a front facing safety seat, the next step to put them into a booster seat.

It should still be noted that some of the best safety measures for child passengers rests in the hands of their adult drivers. Motorists should operate their vehicles in a safe manner and concentrate while at the wheel with no distractions. Proper safety restraints and good driving habits can help keep child passengers safe in the event of a collision.
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Two different Arizona car accidents, one in Phoenix and the other in Tucson, have recently claimed the lives of two children, Reuters is reporting.

In Phoenix a two-year-old girl was killed after a pickup truck being driven by her father rolled over her while backing out of the driveway. The incident occurred at the family’s home on Tuesday morning, May 31.

The girl had been playing with her brother in the front yard of their house, which is located in the area of Thunderbird Road and 35th Ave. around 10:30 AM. The father had been watching the kids at the time.

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