Flat Bicycle Tire resulted in Boy’s Death

2933616692_7c15bb1bd6-thumb-333x289A 9-year-old boy was killed while riding his bicycle at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge in April. The boy was killed after the bicycle he was riding struck the left side of a passing Disney bus near the campground. Although wearing a helmet, he died instantly when he was run over by the rear tire of the bus.

The bicycle, a Mongoose “Outer Limit” dirt bike, was in an “unsafe condition,” according a report by the Florida Highway Patrol which investigated the accident. According to the report, the bike’s front tire was under-inflated and the rear tire had “no measurable air pressure,” the report states.

The Disney bus driver, who was not charged with any traffic citations, claimed he saw the boy operating his bicycle normally just before the impact.

This tragic case highlights the importance of total bike safety. Not only should young children wear helmets, but parents also need to vigilant as to other factors such as the operating condition of the bicycle and driver visibility. Tires should be checked (preferably with a tire gauge) before riding and if they are low, they need to be inflated. Brakes as well as other bicycle components should be examined periodically. Lastly, the bicycle’s reflectors and lights should be operational so that they are visible in low light. Every little bit helps — the child’s clothing should be bright enough not to blend in with the roadside.

While we will probably never know what the precise cause was for this horrible accident, a young child riding a bicycle on the road is always exposed to traffic. We must always try to stay one step ahead.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.

Florida House to reinstate child liability waivers to protect businesses

2850654198_3c8a587076The Florida House is considering a bill to allow waivers of liability signed by parents in favor of businesses involved in high risk activities for children such as theme parks, go-cart tracks and other businesses. The bill has already been passed by the Senate and will go to the House for vote.

In Kirton v. Fields, 997 So.2d 349 (Fla. 2008), the Florida Supreme Court, held that a pre-injury release executed by a parent on behalf of a minor child is unenforceable against the minor or the minor’s estate in a tort action arising from injuries resulting from participation in a commercial activity. In the Kirton case, a 14-year-old boy was killed while riding an all-terrain vehicle at a commercial track. The Florida Supreme Court allowed the boy’s family to sue the track even though his father had signed a liability waiver.

The Republican dominated Florida House and Senate appears to be more concerned with the profitability of its business constituents and corporate donors then the welfare of children. If pre-injury releases are permitted for commercial establishments, the incentive to take reasonable precautions to protect the safety of minor children would be removed. Moreover, as a provider of the activity, a commercial business can take precautions to ensure the child’s safety and insure itself when a minor child is injured while participating in the activity. On the other hand, a minor child cannot insure himself or herself against the risks involved in participating in that activity.

With over 50 years of collective service to the South Florida community, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at The Ben Law Firm have helped thousands of clients to obtain money compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims.

All of the firm’s partners have received the prestigious “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, which is a recognition by their peers in the legal community that their practice meets the highest professional and ethical standards.