Articles Posted in Injuries to Children

The South Carolina Supreme Court has granted another opportunity for plaintiff in Stephens v. CSX Transportation to pursue damages on behalf of his minor granddaughter following a horrific car-versus-train accident. train

Defendants in the case, CSX Transportation and the South Carolina Department of Transportation, had prevailed at trial. But the problem, as identified by the state high court, was the trial judge gave an erroneous charge to jurors that may have prejudiced the plaintiff. The appeals court, which affirmed trial verdict, erred in restricting its analysis of that case to only jury charge issues that were related to the breach of duty of reasonable care.

Specifically, on the initial question of negligence, the judge gave a misleading charge to jurors, particularly as it pertained to a section wherein the train engineer admitted to failure to timely sound his horn, in accordance with state law. There was also an erroneous charge as it related to a driver’s duty to stop at railroad crossings. The judge cited the wrong statute – pertaining to drivers’ duty to stop at intersecting highways, than at railroads. The South Carolina Supreme Court noted the statutes cited were irrelevant and also conflict with  SC Code 56-5-2715, which requires drivers to stop within 50 feet – but not less than 15 feet – of the nearest rail of the railroad. Continue reading

There are few things more devastating to a family than the loss of multiple family members in a single car accident. ABC News is reporting that a 33-year-old man, his wife, and their children, as well as a niece, were driving near Fayetteville one Friday, when they were involved in a serious single-vehicle accident.

755533_suv.jpgAuthorities said the family’s SUV veered off the left side of the road and hit a tree. The driver and his wife were killed in the accident, as were the couple’s 13-year-old son and two-year-old son. The couple’s other two children in the vehicle, as well as their niece, who was also riding with them, were all injured in this horrific North Carolina car crash. Family members said at the time of the accident, the family was going to North Carolina, so their children could meet their grandfather for the first time.
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Going trick-or-treating on Halloween can be a lot of fun for families with young children. However, any activity that involves being out on dark streets with children when cars are sharing those streets can turn dangerous very quickly. According to a recent news article from AOL News, three people were killed and four others were injured when a driver allegedly crashed into a group of trick-or-treaters in New York City this Halloween.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for car-crash-m.jpgAuthorities said a car ran onto a curb and crashed into a group of people, resulting in a horrific scene, as described by witnesses. One witness described a car plowing through a group of people, including a 10-year-old girl, leaving “mangled” bodies and bloody costumes in its wake. Among the victims was a 65-year-old grandfather who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and died on scene. First responders were called to the scene and attempted to provide immediate medical attention to those who were injured. One victim was the 10-year-old granddaughter of the man who died at the scene. She was rushed to a local level-one trauma center, but, unfortunately, doctors were unable to save her, and she was soon pronounced dead.
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A Christmas parade ended in tragedy in 2011 when a 3-year-old child was struck and killed by a vehicle, driven by a 21-year-old. The children had participated in the parade, and when it ended ended, the young boy, his older brother and other family members and friends had exited the parade area and were passing in front of an alley near a privately-owned building on their way to a nearby restaurant. darkalley.jpg

Suddenly, the boys’ mother heard her older child scream at her 3-year-old to “Get out of the way!” Then she and the other group members saw the young child being struck with the front right bumper of a vehicle that was driving up the alley.

It was just after 8 p.m. The sun had set three hours earlier, and no public or private street lights illuminated the area. Witnesses alerted the driver the child was underneath the car and she backed up so he could be freed. He was conscious, crying and severely injured.
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A lawsuit against a bar that served a patron an excessive amount of booze despite his clear intoxication level has settled a lawsuit brought by the family of four that driver went on to seriously injured when he slammed 65 mph into their home as they slept.
The impact of the crash on their one-story home left all four members of the family hospitalized, including a 1-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy. The boy was trapped underneath the car and suffered a fractured skull. He now suffers speech and mobility delays, post-traumatic stress disorder and long-term cognitive and vision impairments.He has severe night terrors and wakes up screaming every night. He still receives extensive physical and psychological therapies.

For his crimes, the driver pleaded guilty and was sentenced to the maximum under state law in Ohio (where the crash occurred), which was 16 years. He was also ordered to pay $62,000 in restitution to the family.
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Child safety restraints in motor vehicles have proven to significantly reduce the risk of serious injury and death among youth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the danger is slashed by as much as 71 percent.
But the car seats and restraints only work if they are used properly. According to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, that is not happening in a large percentage of family vehicles.

Researchers reviewed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s national survey on booster seat use from 2007 to 2009, which included nearly 22,000 children. The researchers staked out gas stations, child care centers, recreation facilities and restaurants to observe whether children were properly restrained as they pulled into these locations. Researchers then asked the driver about the child’s age, ethnicity and race.
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School buses are relatively safe forms of transportation with a generally low accident risk. However, when incidents do occur, children face high risk of injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports from 2003 to 2012, there were 174 school children killed in school-transportation related crashes. Of those, 55 were occupants of school buses and 119 were pedestrians.

Of the 348,000 deadly motor vehicle crashes that occurred during that same time frame, 1,222 were classified as school-transportation related.

One of those was the decedent in Miller v. Thibeaux, a six-year-old boy who died tragically after his arm got trapped in a bus before he got himself dislodged and fell under a wheel.
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No parent is prepared for the news that they have lost their child in a deadly car accident. After a tragic North Carolina accident, a father tried to reach his son through text messages, but they were never received. While a father warned his son of a major accident on the road, he didn’t realize that his son had been traveling in the backseat. According to state troopers investigating the accident, a 16-year-old was driving recklessly and carelessly when he was involved in a collision that also killed two of his friends and injured another.

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Accident reports indicated that the 16-year-old driver was transporting several of his friends home from school when he lost control of the vehicle and struck several trees before the car overturned. Two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene while the driver and another passenger were rushed to the hospital. The father of one of the victims heard about the accident and began to text his son. The first text asked simply, “Where are you?” The following texts became more desperate, as the father had gotten word of the wreck less than a mile from the family home.
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Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of accidents on the road. Drinking and driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, or driving while under the influence of marijuana or pharmaceutical drugs can slow reaction times or lead to erratic driving patterns. In the event of a collision, investigators will always seek to determine whether a driver was impaired. In a recent South Carolina tragedy, a 26-year-old man was criminally charged after a deadly accident killed his 2-year-old daughter and injured two other children.

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According to reports, defendant was driving north on White Plains Road when he veered off the left side of the road and smashed into a street sign and a garbage can before slamming into a tree.

Police indicated that the 2-year-old was riding in a booster car seat in the rear seat. Immediately after the accident, emergency responders arrived at the scene and worked to save the life of the child. She was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. The father was charged with reckless homicide after a solicitor told the judge that he tested positive for marijuana and admitted to smoking before the accident. It was estimated that the driver was traveling at 65 or 70 miles per hour at the time of the collision, even though the posted speed limit was 45.
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Accidents involving pedestrian victims can be deadly, especially when a vehicle is traveling at high speeds. In a tragic case, a 17-year-old girl was killed on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh when she attempted to cross the street. According to reports, the teen was struck when she crossed Capital Boulevard around 7 p.m. She crossed the road while oncoming traffic had a green signal, according to police reports. A 49-year-old driver was headed north when she struck the victim. She pulled over and tried to help while waiting for the authorities to arrive on the scene.


As with any accident case involving a fatality, this case is still under investigation. Authorities have not charged the driver, but do not believe that drugs or alcohol were a cause of the accident. The victim was in critical condition when she was taken to the hospital, but later died of her injuries. According to reports, this was the second accident in the past two months involving a pedestrian crossing at the same intersection. Another victim was struck on September 3rd in a hit and run, but the driver has not yet been located. The first victim suffered serious injuries, which were not life threatening.
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