Articles Posted in Injuries to Children

Recently, an appeals court issued an opinion addressing governmental immunity in Georgia personal injury lawsuits. The lawsuit stems from the tragic death of a five-year-old boy who died after being struck and killed when exiting a school bus.

According to the opinion, the bus driver stopped the bus near the child’s home, and then activated the vehicle’s flashing lights, stop sign, and crossing gate. The child was previously instructed to look back at the bus driver before crossing the double-yellow line. However, the boy stepped off the bus, saw his mother, and started to cross the road without looking back. As the boy stepped off the bus, the bus driver saw an oncoming truck, at which point she honked the horn and waved to the child. Unfortunately, it was too late and the boy was struck and killed by the oncoming vehicle.

The family filed a Georgia wrongful death lawsuit against the bus driver, claiming that she was negligent in allowing the child off the bus without assuring that there was no traffic. The lower court granted summary judgment in favor of the bus driver based on governmental immunity. The plaintiffs argued that governmental immunity should not bar their case because the driver had a duty to keep students on the bus until all of the traffic stopped. The plaintiffs claimed that this duty was “ministerial” and “absolute”; therefore, governmental immunity should not apply.

All Georgia personal injury cases must be brought within a certain amount of time, as described in the applicable statutes of limitations. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of the injury. While there are some exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations, that will be the governing statute of limitations in most personal injury cases.Other causes of action have different statutes of limitations. For example, lawsuits involving personal property are subject to a four-year statute of limitations. In some cases, it may not be clear which statute of limitations applies, and the parties must litigate the applicable statute of limitations. This was the situation in a recent Georgia personal injury opinion in which the parents of a child were seeking compensation for the medical bills they incurred after their son was injured in the plaintiff’s home.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiffs rented a home from the defendant. While the plaintiffs were living at the home, their minor son was injured when he leaned up against a brick wall and the wall collapsed. Initially, the parents filed the lawsuit on behalf of their minor son. However, once the son turned 18, the parents voluntarily withdrew the case so that their son could proceed on his own behalf.

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Earlier this month, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a written opinion in a Georgia premises liability case involving the tragic drowning death of a young child at a condominium swimming pool. The case required the court to determine the condo association was liable for the child’s death. Finding that the association was not negligent in any way, the court dismissed the case against the association.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in this case was the father of a young boy who drowned in a swimming pool that was located at the condominium complex where his aunt lived. At the time of the accident, the aunt was not present, but the boy was with several other family members. According to the evidence presented at trial, the pool was very crowded on the day of the accident, and the young boy was under water for approximately five minutes before he was discovered. There was also some evidence suggesting that the person who called 911 was unable to promptly give the address of the condo complex, potentially delaying the arrival of emergency responders.

After his son’s death, the boy’s father filed a personal injury lawsuit against the condo association, claiming that the association was negligent for failing to have a lifeguard present, failing to have a safety rope distinguishing the shallow part of the pool from the deep part of the pool, and failing to post a sign with the pool’s address.

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In a recent case, after a 19-year-old was injured while riding a horse at a summer camp, he brought a lawsuit against the individual who provided the horses. The boy had been riding the horse at the camp where he worked as a camp counselor in the equine activities program. He had been out on a trail ride with the horse when the horse jumped over a small stream. The boy lost his balance and fell off the horse, and the horse landed on top of him. The defendant had contracted with the summer camp to provide the horses.The boy sued, alleging negligence and willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons riding the horse. The defendant moved for summary judgment, based on the immunity granted by Georgia’s Equine Act. The Equine Act limits the liability of those involved in equine activities but provides for some exceptions. The boy argued that two exceptions applied in his case.

First, he claimed the defendant was liable because he provided an animal but failed to make reasonable efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the activity and to safely manage the animal. The court found that in this case, the defendant provided the horse to the camp, and the camp supervisor assigned the particular horse to the boy. Thus, since the defendant did not assign the horse to the boy himself, the exception did not apply. Another exception exists when a person willfully or wantonly disregards the safety of the participant. Here, this horse had been provided to the camp for two previous summers, and there was no evidence of previous incidents with this horse. As a result, the second exception also did not apply. The court noted that the boy’s injuries resulted from the inherent risks of equine activities, which is the type of injury the Act was meant to protect. Accordingly, the boy could not recover from the defendant under the Act.

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Choosing your child’s day care program can be frustrating, scary, and exhausting for both you and your child. How can you know that a trusted adult is watching over the children at all times? And for a child with food allergies, was the lunch meal double-checked to make sure no peanuts were present? The constant fear of bullying may also be present. Continue reading ›

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If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you probably have several questions about what your options are and what your next steps should be. At McAleer Law, our experienced DUI injury attorneys handle cases like this all the time, and are ready to answer any of your questions. First, check out this guide to the types of compensation you may be eligible to collect. Call us today at 404.MCALEER if you have more questions or to schedule a free review of your case.

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With summer quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about summer camp. It’s important to find a camp for your children that has a low record of injuries, especially head injuries and broken bones. With some good research, you’ll be able to locate the safest daycare or summer camp in your area, and hopefully avoid a daycare injury or summer camp injury.
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Few things can be more devastating than learning your child is being abused at day care, let alone abused at all. Figuring out a way to help your child cope with the emotional damage that may result can also be an extremely difficult task that many parents may be unprepared for.

Many children may have difficulty coming to their parents and disclosing the abuse that may be occurring, and this is even more true with younger children. This is why it is crucial that parents handle the situation with compassion and caution.
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Daycare abuse is a parent’s worst nightmare, and many of us just can’t believe that our trusted daycare providers could ever harm our children. Still, you should be aware of the signs that your child is a victim of daycare abuse so that you can best protect your child.
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As parents, we want to protect our children from all harm. We put our trust in daycare providers and hope that our trust is not misplaced. Then, one day, your child comes home from daycare with an injury. You worry if this a sign of daycare abuse. Injuries are common among children, but how can you know what is a normal injury versus an abusive injury?
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