Child Struck by SUV at Bus Stop
The 9-year-old child from Oldsmar, Florida was struck by an SUV while playing tag at his school bus stop. The article in the St. Petersburg Times states that Emillio Serrano fell in front of Katherine Duck, 30, who was driving a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Duck allegedly pulled up to a stop sign at the intersection facing Westminster Boulevard and Emillio fell in front of her vehicle. Duck then started to turn left and quickly realized that she had run over something. Emillio was underneath the SUV and taken to a hospital. Deputies do not expect to file charges as a result of this incident.
While deputies do not expect to file charges, that does not mean that there should not be compensation for the injuries suffered. Injuries to children are particularly of concern because no one knows how those injuries will affect the child in the long run. No child should suffer an injury like this if it can be prevented. Obviously some responsibility will be born by the child for playing tag and "darting" out in the street in front of a motorist. However, the motorist bears some responsibility in this matter because the motorist should notice children at play on the side of the road and should take extra care to avoid the children. While I do understand that it is possible for a motorist to do everything right including slowing down upon seeing children at play on the side of the road and the child still darts out in front causing the collision. That scenario is one that the motorist could not prevent. However, this incident appears to be one that the motorist should have been able to prevent because she have noticed the children before impact and should have seen a child fall in front of her vehicle if she had been looking. Oftentimes, motorists are driving while half asleep and that behavior increases the risk of injury to others. That failure on the part of the motorist to be fully aware of her surroundings is negligence (even though the child also bears some degree of negligence too) and is legally compensable should the parents of the child wish to make a claim against the insurance policy of the motorist. The motorist will likely claim that there is nothing that she could have done to prevent the accident, but the driver of a motor vehicle is in the best position to prevent injury (even to people who are where they are not supposed to be) if they simply pay full attention to the task of driving. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in the Central Florida area, including Lakeland, Tampa, Winter Haven, Bartow, Haines City, and Lake Wales, Florida, please contact a personal injury or car accident lawyer to discuss the facts and circumstances of the case. A personal injury or car accident lawyer will give you a free consultation and legal opinion as to the merits of your case.