Tag Archives: Pensacola Child Accident Lawyers

Graduating Your Child to a Car Booster Seat – The Safest Option?

About 20% of children who are passengers in car accidents are fatally injured. According to The National Center for Health Statistics, car accidents are one of the leading causes of death for children in the United States. For this reason, a child restraint systems is a necessary device for child passengers in a motor vehicle.

ZL_blog_Booster_Seats
The device consists of a car seat that uses a harness system as primary safety. When the passenger is an infant, the seat is placed in a rear-facing position. By the time a child reaches the age of four years-old, most parents replace the harness with a booster seat. The booster seat, elevates the child, repositioning their bodies so that the car’s safety belt fits correctly.

Do Booster Seats Provide More Protection Than a Five-Point Harness?

Harness seats are provided with straps that secure the child around the shoulders keeping him or her attached to the back of the seat. Two additional tethers cross between the legs keeping each leg secured. In this way, the impact of an accident can disperse broadly through the body instead of causing injuries in one place. (Langino & Kroeger, 2018). As the child grows older and weighs between 20 and 40 pounds, harness seats are placed facing forward (National Transportation Safety Board, 1996).

Booster seats are used as a transition to seat belts for children between 40 and 60 pounds and older than four years of age (National Transportation Safety Board, 1996). These seats use the car safety belt to secure the child from one shoulder across the chest, buckling it up on the side of the hip while the lap belt keeps the hips and the pelvis secure in the seat (Gearner, & Robertson 2012). Most booster seats, however, are marketed for children starting at 30 pounds allowing parents to begin the transition time much earlier than recommended.

The Law

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 (FMVSS 213), stated a series of norms and regulations back in 1971 related to the design and safety of harness seats for children weighing less than 30 pounds. The purpose of these regulations was to reduce the number of children killed or injured in auto accidents (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 1979). Booster seats were included in the 213 standards in 1994. Curiously, tests carried out to determine these seats effectiveness were made using the harness seats parameters. This action neglected the fact that booster seat users weighing more than 30 pounds and having different heights. From then on, booster seats have been sold in the United States only with a restriction to be used by children weighing no less than 30 pounds, making available a restraint system which has not been adequately verified, jeopardizing a child’s life (Langino & Kroeger, 2018). There are no rules that regulate the design of these seats, and no booster seat company has yet developed test standards to ensure its safety.

State law in the Florida Statute 316.613.1a requires that motor vehicle operators must provide federally approved child restraint devices that have been crash-tested. Clearly, there is an ambiguity in stating the specifications of a crash-test related to weights and heights. This imprecision means no explicit regulation in case of damages caused by using these systems. Additionally, in 2014 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed the first side-impact crash-test. A test aimed to verify the effectiveness of car seats in side-impacts or “T-bone” collisions for children weighing up to 40 pounds. The proposal didn’t pass; yet, today the market advertises booster seats that have been side-impact tested.

A Good Alternative

Fortunately, there is an alternative to avoid using booster seats. The lower anchor tethers for children also called LATCH system allows the installation of a harness seat for children weighing more than 40 pounds. The system uses a tether and two lower anchors to keep the seat secure. These anchors are available on vehicle models manufactured on and after 2002 (National Child Passenger Safety Certification, n.a.)

Car seats are a vital device to protect a child’s life while in a motor vehicle. Although both harness and booster seats are made to avoid injuries or fatalities during a car accident, the safety provided by the five-point harness is more effective than the protection provided by the safety belt whose security focuses only on three points. The LATCH system provides a useful way of setting up a harness seat. Always remember to read the user manual for proper installation.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. OUR AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If your child has been injured in a car accident while in a booster seat, it is important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

Sources:

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. (1979, December) Child Restrain System, 44 FR 72147. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2r1oHje

Gearner, D. & Robertson, B. (2012, October). Booster seat usage for children 4 to 8 years of age. Journal of Pediatric Nursing 38(5), 285-288.

Langino, A. J. & Kroeger, L. M. (2018, January). Blind Spots. Trial: American Association for Justice, 40-45.

National Center for Health Statistics (n.a.). Child Passenger Safety: Get the Facts. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2cfooKQ

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2014) NHTSA Proposes first-ever side impact test for child restraint systems. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2KeRpps

National Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Program (n.a.) Lower anchors and tethers for children. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2HZmJYx

State Uniform Traffic Control, 2017 Fla. § 316.0613. (2017) Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2KhBTJq

United States National Transportation Safety Board. (1996). The performance and use of child restraint systems, seat-belts, and air bags for children in passenger vehicles : safety study. Washington, D.C. : Springfield, Va. :National Transportation Safety Board ; National Technical Information Service
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Pensacola Product Liability: Ikea Recalls 29 Million Dressers and Chests

Pensacola Personal Injury LawyerAt least six children have been crushed to death by toppling Ikea chests, prompting the voluntary recall of about 29 million chests and dressers sold by the popular retailer, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says. Pensacola product Liability Lawyer, Joe Zarzaur explains the products recalled include dressers from Ikea’s lower-cost Malm line, which has been plagued with consumer reports regarding injuries and deaths.

Ikea and the CPSC told ABC that at least 36 children have been injured by Ikea chests and dressers, which are prone to tip over when they aren’t anchored to the wall. The deaths — all children under the age of 4 — date back to 1989 and are as recent as this February, the CPSC said.

The company is offering a refund or repair kit for affected dressers, including the MALM and other styles, the CPSC said. Further details were not immediately available. Furniture manufactured between 2002 and 2016 will entitle customers to a full refund; consumers can receive a partial store credit for items manufactured before 2002.

Pensacola Personal Injury LawyerUpon request, the company will send a crew to install the wall anchor for customers who don’t want to do it themselves, the CPSC said. In the meantime, the CPSC is encouraging consumers to store the dresser where children won’t have access to it. At least four of the deaths were the result of unanchored chests.

In a statement regarding the voluntary recall, Ikea said that “a child in the US dies every two weeks from furniture, appliances, or TVs tipping over,” stressing that it instituted a repair kit program last year “to communicate the importance of wall attachment, which resulted in the distribution of 300,000 kits to consumers who had not used their original hardware.”

Joe Zarzaur, founder of Zarzaur Law and Pensacola product liability lawyer, has created this  blog in an effort to educate the many citizens and visitors of Pensacola, Florida about their legal rights. Board Certified Lawyer Joe Zarzaur knows the ins and outs of Florida law, and offers friendly-quality legal help whether you have experienced a product malfunction, auto accident/car wreck, have been a victim of medical malpractice or are in need of a personal injury lawyer.

“Since then, we have been in close contact with the CPSC to evaluate the success of the repair program and the impact it is having on consumers’ actions. We are announcing this recall today given the recent tragic death of a third child,” the statement said, referring to the number of children killed by MALM dressers. Three other children have been killed by other-style IKEA chests.

“It is clear that there are still unsecured products in customers’ homes, and we believe that taking further action is the right thing to do,” Ikea continued in the statement. “We will continue to work collaboratively with the CPSC on tip-over prevention, development of the ASTM standard, and innovations that will enhance product safety and further reduce the risk of tip-overs.”

Pensacola Product Liability Lawyer

 

Some childhood injuries – bumps, cuts, and bruises – are a part of growing up. But if your child was hurt, you deserve answers. In cases of a serious accident resulting in substantial medical care or lasting impairment, you may need a Pensacola product liability lawyer or child accident lawyer to help get the financial compensation your family needs.

Zarzaur Law Firm can investigate the accident that caused your child’s injury. If it was a preventable accident, we can help you see to it that the responsible party is held liable under Florida personal injury or wrongful death laws. We can help you deal with the financial consequences of your child’s accident and provide further compassion and support as you deal with the emotional aspects of your child’s case.

Pensacola Child Accident Attorney: Common Accidents

Pensacola child accident lawyerPensacola Child Accident Attorney: Accidents Involving Children, More Common Than You Think

Children are more susceptible than adults to being injured in accidents caused by the negligence of others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says injuries in accidents are the leading cause of death for children age 19 and younger. If your child was hurt, you deserve answers. In cases of a serious accident resulting in substantial medical care or lasting impairment, you may need a Pensacola child accident lawyer to help get the financial compensation your family needs.

The CDC says that nearly nine million children are seen in emergency departments for injuries each year, and more than 9,000 children die as a result of being injured.

The estimated annual cost of injuries from accidents involving children in the United States is nearly $11.5 billion.

According to the CDC, in 2009 more than 9,000 U.S. children died from injuries. Accidents and death involving children happen all the time, despite parents childproofing and safety efforts. Read Pensacola injury lawyer Joe Zarzaur’s list of the most common accidents involving children below…

Pensacola child accident lawyer

The CDC says the most common injury-producing accidents involving children are:

  • Falls – Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries for children. Falls on the playground are a common cause of injury, as are falls in the home, such as a fall on stairs. Common playground injuries include fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations and  amputations. About 75 percent of nonfatal injuries related to playground equipment occur on public playgrounds, the CDC says.
  • Car accidents Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. More than two-thirds of fatally injured children were killed while riding with a drinking driver, the CDC says. Placing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half.
  • Burns – Younger children who suffer burns are more likely to have been injured by hot liquids or steam that cause scald burns, such as by pulling a pot off of a stove or by bath water that is too hot. Older children are more likely to be burned by direct contact with open flame or fire.
  • Drowning – Three children die every day as a result of drowning, and drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages one to four. Children can be drawn to swimming pools, decorative ponds and other water features with tragic results. Property owners have an obligation to secure these areas from unauthorized entry.
  • Suffocation – Infants are most at risk for suffocation while sleeping. Toddlers are more likely to suffocate from choking on food and other objects, such as small toys.
  • Poisoning – More than 300 children are treated in emergency rooms as a result of being poisoned every day, and two die, the CDC says. Numerous household items are poisonous and should be properly secured from active, curious children.
  • Sports and Recreation – More than 2.6 million children are treated in emergency rooms each year for sports and recreation-related injuries. Coaches and other recreation supervisors have a responsibility to ensure children wear protective gear, are sufficiently trained for the activity undertaken, and are not mismatched with significantly larger children in contact sports. Recreation supervisors must also be mindful of hot weather and allow appropriate rest and water breaks.

Some childhood injuries – bumps, cuts, and bruises – are a part of growing up. But if your child was hurt, you deserve answers. In cases of a serious accident resulting in substantial medical care or lasting impairment, you may need a Pensacola child accident lawyer to help get the financial compensation your family needs.

Zarzaur Law Firm can investigate the accident that caused your child’s injury. If it was a preventable accident, we can help you see to it that the responsible party is held liable under Florida personal injury or wrongful death laws. We can help you deal with the financial consequences of your child’s accident and provide further compassion and support as you deal with the emotional aspects of your child’s case.

Joe Zarzaur, founder of Zarzaur Law and Pensacola child accident lawyer, has created this  blog in an effort to educate the many citizens and visitors of Pensacola, Florida about their legal rights. Board Certified Lawyer Joe Zarzaur knows the ins and outs of Florida law, and offers friendly-quality legal help whether you have experienced an auto accident/car wreck, have been a victim of medical malpractice or are in need of a personal injury lawyer.

Zarzaur Law Contact

Pensacola Child Accident Attorney

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Telephone: 850-444-9929

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