Recently in Injuries To Children Category

May 25, 2011

Pembroke Pines Woman Dead After Car Accident at Intersection, Car Seat Saves Baby

A Broward County woman is dead following a car crash in Pembroke Pines on May 23, 2011. According to witnesses, Jay Lapidus, who has not been charged, ran a red light and collided with Neyda Hernandez as she tried to make a left turn. Hernandez's granddaughter was in the backseat in a car seat and, thankfully, survived the accident without any serious injuries. Police are currently investigating this Pembroke Pines car accident.

Injury and accident statistics help put into perspective just how valuable correctly installed car seats and booster seats are in avoiding injuries and fatalities from car accidents. Car crashes are the number one cause of death for children between the ages of 3 to 14. In fact, an average of four children age 14 and under died and 490 sustained injuries in vehicle crashes in the U.S. every day in 2009. Thankfully, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 8,959 children have been saved because of properly utilized child safety seats from 1975 to 2008.

In March 2011, the NHTSA announced its updated car seat guidelines, which help parents and caretakers understand which safety restraint device (car seat, booster seat, or seatbelt) a child should be placed in based on age. The NHTSA suggests that parents use the correct type of car seat for their children until the children reach manufacturers' specifications on height or weight limits.

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August 17, 2010

Drop-Side Crib Ban Looming, Government Recommends New Crib Safety Standards

Drop-side cribs have been a safety issue for several years. Following the largest recall of drop-side cribs in the United States - 2.1 million cribs manufactured by Stork Craft - there was another recall this summer that included over 2 million drop-side cribs from seven different manufacturers. Over the last five years, more than nine million cribs have been recalled. Many of these recalls are the result of design defects which have led to serious, and sometimes fatal, results. Drop-side cribs have caused 32 deaths and hundreds of injuries to children since 2000.

Last month the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously to ban drop-side cribs and also recommended new crib safety standards. When the new standards are implemented, the manufacture and sale of drop-side cribs will be forbidden, and hotels and daycares will be prohibited from using them. With child safety being the main concern, new standards also call for better construction and improved mattress support. These standards will be published by the end of the year, and after a final vote, are expected to be implemented next year.

Continue reading "Drop-Side Crib Ban Looming, Government Recommends New Crib Safety Standards" »

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August 12, 2010

Booster Seats Can Help Save Lives...So Why Doesn't Florida Require Them?

We often hear about the importance of car seats to help prevent injuries to children and to keep them safe while traveling in automobiles. However, we don't often hear about the importance of booster seats. When children reach the age of 4 in the state of Florida, parents are no longer required to use car seats, and have the option of using a seat belt, a separate carrier, or a booster seat as a means to keep their children safe. Why are booster seats merely an option when studies show that booster seats are safer than just using seat belts? Earlier this year, a bill that would require the use of booster seats stalled in the Florida Legislature. Opponents of the bill favored education and awareness on booster seats over making it a law. Currently, 47 states in the country require the use of booster seats. The only states without this requirement are South Dakota, Arizona, and Florida.

When children are between the ages of 4 and 8, they are in that gray area where they have outgrown their car seats, but are too small to use a seatbelt. Because seatbelts were designed for larger frames, they do not fit a child properly and can cause injuries known as "seatbelt syndrome" if an auto accident occurs. For example, the lap belt is made to sit on the pelvis of an adult, but on a child, it sits on the abdomen, increasing the risk of abdominal and spinal cord injuries. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, children in this age group who use booster seats are 59 percent less likely to sustain injuries than children who only use seatbelts. Studies from other publications also point to the dangers in only using seat belts for children, as the likelihood of head injuries increases by 4 to 5 times, and abdominal injuries increase by 3 times. It is recommended that children start using seatbelts when they are between 8 and 12 years old and are at least 4'9".

Auto accidents are the number one cause of death for children between 2 and 14 years old, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, the likelihood of death in an auto accident decreases by 28 percent for children who are properly restrained. A report by Channel 4 in Jacksonville earlier this year revealed that an alarming 83% of children ages 4 to 8 are restrained using seat belts, not booster seats. It is important for parents and caretakers to learn about the use of booster seats as a way to help prevent injuries to children while riding in motor vehicles. Safe Kids USA, a non-profit organization that provides information on preventing childhood injuries, offers tips on booster seat and seat belt usage.

Continue reading "Booster Seats Can Help Save Lives...So Why Doesn't Florida Require Them? " »

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June 1, 2010

Recent Warning & Recalls on Potentially Dangerous Drugs

Xenical & Alli May Cause Severe Liver Damage

The orlistat-based weight loss pills, Xenical and Alli, will now come with warnings of potential liver damage. The revised warnings come after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received and studied 13 cases of severe liver damage, including two deaths and three liver transplants, in patients taking the drugs. Although only one case involved a patient in the United States, the FDA felt the danger was serious enough to require warnings on all future Xenical and Alli packages sold in the U.S. Although a direct causal relationship has not yet been established between severe liver damage and taking orlistat, the FDA is warning the nearly 40 million people taking Xenical or Alli to discontinue use if they notice signs of liver damage. These signs may include yellow eyes and skin, itching, dark urine, light-colored stool, or loss of appetite.

Proton Pump Inhibitors May Increase Fracture Risk

The FDA is also reporting that recent epidemiological studies have shown that use of proton pump inhibitors, such as Nexium and Prilosec, at high doses or for more than one year may increase the risk of bone fractures. Proton pump inhibitors are used to treat acid reflux, GERD, and other conditions by stopping acid secretion. The increased fracture risk is associated with the hip, wrist, and spine. While the potentially dangerous drugs are not being recalled, they will receive a revised warning label which includes this fracture risk.

Adverse Incidents Related to Children's Tylenol Continue to Surface

The FDA continues to investigate nearly 800 reports of adverse medical incidents following the recall of over-the-counter children's medication, according to reports. The recall was prompted by an inspection of Johnson & Johnson's McNeil manufacturing plant which uncovered bacterial contamination of ingredients, dirty equipment, and the potential of drugs being more potent than indicated. Although the FDA has not linked any of the adverse events, including seven reported deaths, directly to the recalled products, the FDA continues to investigate whether the adverse incidents are related to the poor manufacturing conditions. The recalled products include children's Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl.

Continue reading "Recent Warning & Recalls on Potentially Dangerous Drugs" »

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May 26, 2010

Florida Parents Beware: Drop-Side Cribs Soon to be Banned Nationwide

Drop-side cribs are dangerous. That is the message Congress wants parents to know. The tragic death of a 6-month old baby boy from Long Island, New York, is a grim example. The infant became trapped and suffocated when the side rail on his drop-side crib malfunctioned. At least 32 babies in the last 10 years have suffocated or were strangled in drop-side cribs. In addition, 14 infant fatalities have been linked to drop-side cribs in that time frame.

According to reports, efforts have been made in Congress to prohibit the making, selling and reselling of all drop-side cribs and to ban them from establishments such as hotels and day care facilities. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is taking action to get the ban underway and is urging parents to understand the dangers of using drop-side cribs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission plans to make fixed-side cribs the new standard and to ban the sale and manufacture of drop-side cribs by the end of 2010.

Since 2005, over 7 million drop-side cribs have been recalled, usually due to malfunctioning hardware which can cause the drop-side rail to loosen or break. When the rail becomes detached, it creates a space between the side rail and mattress where a baby can get trapped and become strangled or suffocate. Although the crib industry favored fixed-side over drop-side cribs last year by voting to do away with the drop-side design, it is not yet mandatory for crib manufacturers to make only fixed-side cribs.

Some retailers, including Wal-Mart and Babies R Us, have already stopped selling drop-side cribs. Despite the warnings from the CPSC and Congress, drop-side cribs are still widely available online. Parents and caretakers should be aware of the dangers in using drop-side cribs and should avoiding using them at all costs.

Continue reading "Florida Parents Beware: Drop-Side Cribs Soon to be Banned Nationwide" »

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May 18, 2010

Deadly Hammocks: Florida Teen's Strangulation Shocks Broward County

A 13-year-old Davie boy has died after he was found with a hammock wrapped around his neck on May 2. The young man's father found him in his room entangled in the hammock and attempted to revive him through CPR. At the hospital, the young man was placed in a medically-induced coma, but never recovered. How he became entangled in the hammock and his exact cause of death are still being investigated according to reports.

Although the details of how this tragic death occurred remain unclear, hammocks have a history of being strangulation risks. This risk is especially prevalent in devices characterized as baby- or mini-hammocks which consist of light weight, nylon mesh and do not employ a spreader bar. These hammocks have been identified as strangulation and suffocation risks to babies and young children by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) for years and have undergone numerous recalls. The risk stems from a defective design that fails to provide a spreader bar to keep the mesh from pulling tight into a single rope which children can become entangled in while getting into and out of the hammock.

The death of this young man, while extremely tragic, is not unprecedented. In 2008, an eight-year-old Indiana boy reportedly died after a hammock he and his brothers were playing on became wrapped around his neck causing suffocation. Twelve children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old died after becoming entangled in mini-hammocks without spreader bars from 1984 to 1995 according to the CPSC.

Continue reading "Deadly Hammocks: Florida Teen's Strangulation Shocks Broward County" »

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March 22, 2010

Florida Parents Beware: Baby Sling Carriers Could be Deadly

Parents using baby sling carriers should know that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a warning on slings due to suffocation death hazards. Specific brands were not mentioned in the warning.

The warning applies to babies younger than four months, preemies, babies who have difficulty breathing, and babies with low birth weight. In the past 20 years, 14 babies have died - 12 of which have been under four months- as a result of infant sling carriers, including three deaths last year. Infants under four months old are more susceptible to suffocating while in a sling because of their inability to control their heads at such a young age.

The CPSC advises parents to make sure their infant's face is exposed, chin up, and to make sure their child's nose and mouth are not covered. The Commission also encourages parents to check the position of their babies often. The CPSC offers diagrams explaining the right way, and incorrect ways, to place an infant in a sling.

Continue reading "Florida Parents Beware: Baby Sling Carriers Could be Deadly" »

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February 22, 2010

Infant Deaths Prompt Nationwide Crib Recall

The deaths of three babies, all under one year of age, have spurred a nationwide recall of Generation 2 Worldwide and "ChildESIGNS" drop side cribs. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled these cribs, which are sold in many stores including Walmart, because they pose a threat of death or serious injury. Parents are advised to no longer use these cribs because babies can suffocate or be strangulated by these defective products. The CPSC warns to not try to fix the recalled cribs.

The drop side of these cribs can detach, causing a space where babies have no way of escaping, which can lead to suffocation or strangulation. In addition to the three deaths reported, several injuries, including bruising and a broken arm, have also been reported to the CPSC.

Last month Dorel Asia recalled several crib models because their defective drop sides also posed a threat of strangulation or suffocation. Around the same time, the CPSC recalled 1.5 million dangerous Graco strollers.

Continue reading "Infant Deaths Prompt Nationwide Crib Recall" »

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January 26, 2010

Deadly Baby Cribs and Dangerous Strollers Recalled

A major recall is in effect for Dorel Asia cribs and Graco strollers after reports of an infant's death from strangulation in his crib and finger amputations from stroller hinge mechanisms.

A 6-month-old boy from Iowa died of strangulation after becoming trapped in his own crib due to malfunctioning hardware. The crib was manufactured by Dorel Asia, which has recalled over 600,000 cribs sold by major retailers including Wal-Mart. The company is recalling 20 models of cribs that can pose a suffocation or strangulation hazard if their drop sides detach. The cribs also pose a risk of children becoming trapped in the cribs due to broken slats. The company has received several reports of children being trapped, bruised and scratched due to these cribs.

Following five reports of finger amputations and two reports of cuts due to the hinges in stroller canopies, Graco has recalled 1.5 million strollers manufactured from October 2004 to February 2008. The recall affects the Spree, Passage and Alano Strollers and Travel Systems. The manufacture dates can be found above the back wheels, on the lower inside part of the back frame.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the strollers present a laceration and amputation threat to children when canopies were opened or closed. The commission has advised consumers to stop using the strollers and contact Graco to obtain a free repair kit.

A personal injury lawyer experienced in handling dangerous and defective product lawsuits can protect your rights and fight for the compensation you may be legally entitled to. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a dangerous product, contact us today for a free consultation.

Dan Irving is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer handling injury to children and dangerous product cases for more than 29 years.

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October 9, 2009

Top Ten Most Dangerous Children's Products

Your child may be at risk of serious injury or death if you are using any of the products listed below.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) recently released the following list of the ten most hazardous recalled children's products that might still be available in resale stores or on the Internet:

  • Evenflo Envision High Chairs -- Fasteners and metal screws on both sides of the high chairs can loosen and fall out, allowing the seat back to detach or recline unexpectedly. As a result, children can fall backwards or out of the seat or choke on the detached hardware.
  • Hill Sportswear Hooded Sweatshirt -- There was one reported death of a three-year-old boy who was strangled when the drawstring of the sweatshirt he was wearing became stuck on a playground swing.
  • Simplicity Bassinets, including those with Graco or Winnie the Pooh motif -- There are at least three deaths involving Simplicity bassinets. The metal bars in the Simplicity 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 convertible bassinets are covered by an adjustable fabric flap which is attached by Velcro and folded down when the bassinet is repositioned. If the Velcro is not properly fastened when the flap is readjusted, an infant may slip through the opening between the metal bars and suffocate.
  • Simplicity Drop Side Cribs -- There have been 10 known deaths associated with this product. The drop side can detach, creating a space between the side and the mattress. Infants and toddlers can be entrapped in this space and suffocate.

Continue reading "Top Ten Most Dangerous Children's Products " »

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August 20, 2009

Jury Finds Florida KinderCare Liable for Child's Broken Leg, $3 Million

A Pinellas County, Florida jury recently found the national child day care chain, KinderCare, liable for $3 million dollars in damages after a caregiver broke the leg of a child under their care. According to reports, the caregiver broke the child's leg when he would not remain still while having his diaper changed. The caregiver was fired after the incident, but it was soon revealed that KinderCare had received a number of complaints regarding the caregiver's treatment of children under her supervision from other employees and parents. Witnesses at trial claimed the caregiver improperly handled numerous children including dropping some into their cribs and hitting another with a clipboard.

According to news reports, the jurors felt KinderCare should have responded to the warnings and concerns of employees and parents and taken action against the caregiver. Jurors also felt KinderCare should have installed cameras so that supervisors could monitor the staff's treatment of the children in their care. The caregiver pleaded no contest to felony child abuse charges for breaking the infants leg and was sentenced to one year in jail prior to the trial.

It is a difficult decision for a parent to leave their child in the care of another, but more and more families are finding it necessary for both parents to work to make ends meet. It is always best to make these difficult decisions with as much information as possible regardless of how disturbing it may be. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children and Families' 2007 Child Maltreatment report, approximately 0.5% of child abuse incidents occur in the day care setting. Nationally, there were 3,605 child abuse victims in the day care setting in 2007 with 24 fatalities. Florida day cares accounted for 143 of the incidents of abuse. provides federally sponsored information regarding child care. Here are some tips on how to make an informed decision regarding child care:

  1. Start looking for child care early in order to have enough time to gather information.
  2. Call around and utilize resources provided by local child care resource and referral centers including licensing requirements, complaints and violations, and financial assistance programs.
  3. Visit the day care center and ask questions regarding the child to adult ratio, group size, caregiver qualifications, turnover, accreditation, and any other questions you feel you need to make your decision.
  4. Make an informed choice.
  5. Stay involved with your child's care.
Of course, even the best intentions, research, and involvement cannot prevent these terrible instances of child abuse from happening in day care centers at times.  Many times, as in this case, the day care center is responsible for not taking the proper steps to ensure the safety of the children under their care.  If your child has been the victim of abuse by a day care caregiver, an attorney experienced in personal injury lawsuits will help you understand your rights and fight for the compensation your child deserves.

Continue reading "Jury Finds Florida KinderCare Liable for Child's Broken Leg, $3 Million" »

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June 2, 2009

Treadmill Accidents Pose Risk of Serious Injury, Death

Mike Tyson's 4-year-old daughter, Exodus, died on Tuesday, May 26, 2009, after succumbing to injuries she sustained when her head was caught in a cord hanging from a treadmill.  According to reports, this tragic treadmill accident occurred when the cord tightened around the child's head after she fell while playing on or around the machine.  The child was rushed to the hospital where she was treated, placed on life-support, and later passed away.

This tragic accident highlights the danger treadmills pose--especially to the very young.  The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that some 6,481 exercise equipment-related accidents involving children under 5-years-old occurred in 2008.  Treadmills and other exercise equipment do not only pose a risk of strangulation, but also can cause burns, lacerations, and deformity to the body from coming in contact with moving parts.

In order to help prevent these tragic exercise equipment accidents, recommends that children be supervised at all times while treadmills and other exercise equipment is in use in the home.  Treadmills and other equipment that is not in use should be unplugged and locked away if possible or surrounded by a safety gate.  Finally, safety clips should be removed from the equipment to eliminate the strangulation hazard they pose and to prevent the equipment from running.

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April 29, 2009

Playgrounds, Gyms, And Recreational Facilities Can Be Dangerous To Our Children

Hidden dangers are present all around while our children are busy playing. Florida law allows recovery for injuries due to negligence conditions that exist in recreation facilities, gyms, after-care facilities, and any activities whether organized or not. Coral Springs Florida is no different than the rest of the country.

I have the pleasure of coaching my nine year old child in a basketball recreational league (except for the fact that we lost our first six games until tonight, when we finally pulled out a victory in overtime--I was pulling my hair out--even my Rogaine was no longer helping me!). Since I've been coaching this year, there's a metal bench that the kids sit on, one side which is affixed to the ground, the other side which is loose, and if anyone sits on it they can fall off and suffer a head injury. Despite a couple months going by with this dangerous condition on a basketball court where children play virtually every day, nobody has bothered to repair this condition. I guess it's going to be up to me to send a certified letter to the City of Coral Springs to fix what is an obvious defective condition waiting for an injury to happen.

There are many other conditions in places where children play which are accidents waiting to happen. Playgrounds used to have monkeybars with gravel or concrete below them, an obvious and ridiculous hazard when a child falls off. Indoor basketball courts have walls that teenagers can run into, and unless protected by padding, present dangerous conditions for anybody who is playing the sport with intensity.

Florida law allows an injured person or child to recover for a dangerous condition that exists on any premises. The landowner or person in charge of the premises has a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. If the person in charge of the area does not make sure the property is not in a hazardous condition, then a claim, or a lawsuit is a viable alternative for a child or a person injured by a hazardous condition.

A new study claims that playground injuries are more dangerous to children than car accidents. The Brain Injury Resource Foundation states that playground injuries brought almost one million children to the emergency room in a particular six year period. A very important analysis of playground injuries is discussed in an article entitled "School Injuries--From the Playground to the Emergency Room".

If a child is seriously injured in an accident involving a child due to negligence, whether it occurs on the playground, in the gym, or at somebody's house, a lawyer should be consulted to ensure the best interest of the child and to protect the child and the family's rights.

UPDATE: July 31, 2009 -- As an indication of the persistent danger of injury and death posed by playgrounds, USA Today recently released an article which reiterated the risks faced by children.  According to the article, nearly 200,000 children are seen each year in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained while playing on playground equipment.  Of those, approximately 15 children die each year from their playground injuries and another 90,000 suffer serious injuries including broken bones, head injury, and amputation.  The article suggests that although playgrounds are safer than in decades past, children continue fall victim to playgrounds that are poorly designed or maintained and from other dangers such potential lead poisoning from recycled tires which are often used to cushion falls.

Continue reading "Playgrounds, Gyms, And Recreational Facilities Can Be Dangerous To Our Children" »

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April 10, 2009

Family of Boy Killed on Amusement Park Ride Receives $1.25 Million

The family of a Connecticut boy fatally injured on an amusement park ride in New York received a $1.25 million settlement from the county which owned the park.  The boy died after leaving his seat and eventually drowning after he received a blow to the head.  The amusement park was admittedly understaffed at the time of the young boys death according to reports.

The coming of spring and summer brings patrons of amusement and water parks out in droves seeking to free themselves of the winter doldrums or cool themselves from the scorching summer sun.  In areas like Florida, the warm, pleasant climate brings people from far and wide to the parks in Orlando and to the water parks, fairs, amusement parks, and carnivals of Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties.  Because of the large number of people that visit amusement parks throughout the country on a yearly basis, it is important that the rides be properly inspected and maintained, the grounds be properly kept in a safe condition, and security be in place to protect and respond to all situations in order to avoid amusement park ride injuries and deaths.

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimated that 1,783 injuries occurred in 2005 at 398 fixed site amusement parks.  The NSC, in its report prepared for the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, estimated that approximately 4 deaths occur every year at these parks.  However, others say the actual number of injuries and deaths at amusement parks is higher and call for stricter regulation of the rides and facilities.

It is imperative that the owners of amusement parks, fairs, water parks, and the like maintain their equipment to the highest safety standards.  It is extremely difficult for patrons of the parks to determine how safe a ride is when those rides are being advertised specifically for their enjoyment.  It is also almost impossible for these park-goers to determine if a ride or attraction is in disrepair and the potential harm the ride may cause them.  People that are injured in amusement park accidents should contact an attorney to ensure that their rights are protected to the fullest extent.

Continue reading "Family of Boy Killed on Amusement Park Ride Receives $1.25 Million" »

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February 20, 2009

Palm Beach County Family Injured in Rollover Accident on Florida's Turnpike

A Wellington, Florida woman and her family suffered minor injuries after their SUV crashed and rolled over on the Florida Turnpike Thursday evening. The family was taken to Delray Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center for treatment.  According to reports, the auto accident allegedly occurred when an unknown vehicle tried to cut in behind the SUV and clipped the truck's rear bumper.  At the time of the automobile accident, the family members were wearing their seat belts and the driver was talking on her cell phone.

According to Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 10,255 injury accidents and 826 fatal accidents resulted in overturned vehicles in 2006.  79 out of the 110 children ages 01 to 17 years old killed in automobile accidents in 2006 were not using safety equipment.  Safety belts and other vehicle safety equipment does save lives.  Of the 214,083 accidents reported as involving drivers and passengers wearing only safety belts, 146,798 of the occupants reported no injuries at all and 42,035 occupants reported only possible injuries.

Not only do seat belts help save lives and prevent injuries in car crashes, they are also required to be worn by law.  Florida statute requires that the operator of a motor vehicle, all passengers under the age of 18, and all front seat passengers wear seat belts or child restraints.  Furthermore, if you are involved in an auto accident due to the negligence of another, the failure to use a seat belt can be argued by the defense to be comparative negligence on your part and used to reduce the amount of compensation awarded.  It is always important to take steps to protect yourself and passengers in your motor vehicle.

Continue reading "Palm Beach County Family Injured in Rollover Accident on Florida's Turnpike" »

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