The Accident & Injury Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Straile, PLLC take note of a tragic incident that took the life of a young boy in south Florida. Authorities say that 52-year-old Michael Resnick was backing his pick-up truck out of a parking space in a residential neighborhood, when he struck 4-year-old Xavier Crawford, as he rode his scooter on a shared driveway. The victim was transported to Memorial Regional Hospital for head trauma and other injuries, where heartbreakingly, the child was later pronounced dead.
According to officials, the boy was playing in the area with two other children, waiting for a birthday party to start at the end of the block. Sadly, the children that the victim had been playing with, brothers, ages 10 and 14, witnessed the horrific event as it happened.
Detectives say that Resnick stayed on the scene following the accident, and was cooperative with authorities. Witnesses say that when the driver realized what he had done, he immediately got out of his truck, and called 911. A neighbor, who spoke with Resnick about the incident stated that “he [Resnick] feels bad … he said he wasn’t trying to do it, he wasn’t trying to hurt no child.” As the investigation continues, it is unclear whether Resnick will face any charges.
The Law Office of Alba & Straile, PLLC send our condolences to the victim’s family as they struggle to deal with this tragedy.
If your child was the victim of an accident, like the one involving little Xavier Crawford, it is important that you understand your legal rights and options. Depending on the circumstances, there may be several potential sources from which to seek compensation for your loss. While every accident is unique, our Gainesville Attorneys provide the following discussion regarding some of the remedies that may be available, in the event of an accident that is similar in nature to the one described above.
One potential source of recovery for a victim’s family is through Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. So long as the victim was not using a type of vehicle excluded under no-fault benefits (i.e. a motorcycle, and some motorized scooters), the victim will generally be entitled to medical and death benefits under PIP. Another potential source for the victim’s family to recover damages, is by filing a Wrongful Death Action. However, the ability to successfully obtain compensation through this means, is generally dependent on whether the driver responsible for the accident is found to have acted in a negligent manner.
In some cases, compensation may be available under one of two theories of premises liability. The first is where an incident occurs on property that is owned by another, such as with residential property accidents, or those involving the liability of a store-owner or business establishment. Here, compensation may be sought directly against the homeowner, or through a liability insurance policy that covers the premises where the accident occurred.
The second type of premises liability action is where an accident occurs on property that is owned and maintained by a municipal entity. For example, liability could result if such entity knew or should have known that the presence of multiple children in a high traffic area made the area unsafe or dangerous for children, yet they failed to install appropriate signage to warn drivers. Likewise, if an accident occurs as a result of a driver’s view being blocked by a tree that the county was responsible for trimming, the county can potentially be held liable if the victim asserts a claim against the government, particularly if it can be shown that they were aware of the unsafe condition.
In addition to potential sources of recovery for the victim and victim’s family, in some cases, recovery may also be available for persons that were present at the time of the accident, such as onlookers, bystanders, or witnesses, under the theory of negligent infliction of emotional distress. However, recovery under this theory is limited to certain classes of individuals, and only in cases where the factual circumstances involved allow for this type of recovery.
The Gainesville Injury Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Straile, PLLC remind victims and their families that the discussion herein is merely provided for explanatory purposes, and that each accident should be assessed on an individualized basis, in order to determine which sources of recovery may be available in a particular scenario.