Articles Posted in Alaska

Published on:

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Alaska and other States, parents rely on day care centers to provide for a safe haven for children during work hours and other times that parents need assistance with child care. On most days in most facilities, the children are cared for in an environment that is clean and focuses on the best interests of the children. When a facility complies with the applicable local and State day care regulations, there is a better chance that the child will be supervised properly and kept out of harm’s way. However, when a facility skirts the regulations and / or takes short cuts, children can be injured along the way. It is vital that regulations are followed and that staff members consistently and conscientiously watch out for the safety and well being of each and every child enrolled in an Alaskan day care center.

When a child dies at a day care center, there typically is an investigation, autopsy, and other work done to determine the cause of death, the preventability of death, and what actions or inactions (if any) on the part of the day care center that caused or contributed to causing the child’s death. Just because a child happens to die at the physical site or location of a day care center does not by itself make the day care center liable or responsible for compensating the parents of the deceased child. When negligence or carelessness on the part of the day care center caused the child’s death – – – then a civil case or claim can be pursued on behalf of the surviving parents. Each case should be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances. A violation of a local or State day care center regulation may be considered during the investigation but unless the violation had a nexus or connection to the harm done, the violation’s importance or relevance may be limited.

In Wasilla, Alaska, the death of a child was recently reported by the Anchorage Daily News. It was reported that a child died while under the care of Illuminations Child Care and Educational Center. There were prior violations of day care center regulations. Again, it should be pointed out the past violations do not necessarily make this particular day care center liable or legally responsible for the child’s death. Further investigation including the autopsy results should provide information to law enforcement and / or the State of Alaska as to the cause and preventability of the child’s death. You can read more about this story at Report Shows Violations / Lack of Compliance at Wasilla Day Day Care Center.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Automobile Accidents, Swimming and Aquatic Park Injuries, Amusement Park Injuries, and other topics. You can receive this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

Published on:

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Alaska and other States, children are, at times, the unfortunate victims of bicycle accidents. Some children suffer only minor injuries while others suffer significant injuries. Some children even lose their lives as a result of a bicycle accident. It is important that every child form the habit of always wearing a bicycle helmet when riding a bicycle. Whether the child is merely riding around in the driveway or going on a longer bicycle ride, a helmet should always be worn. A child can be injured in a driveway as easy as a parking lot, roadway, sidewalk, or park. The use of a helmet is vital for a child’s safety. When there is a bicycle accident that leads to injury, one of the first questions asked by the police, medical providers, and attorneys is the following question:

Was the child wearing a bicycle helmet at the time of the bicycle accident?

In many States, a child is required to wear a helmet. Whether there is a law in place or not, a child should always wear a bicycle helmet when riding a bicycle. When there is a claim or case that results from a bicycle accident, the use or non-use of a helmet can be a central issue in the case if the child suffered a head injury. Let’s assume that a child was hit by a vehicle while riding a bicycle. The child suffered a broken / fractured leg. There were no other injuries. While wearing a bicycle helmet would have been preferable, the use or non-use of a bicycle helmet in this situation will not be an issue in the case. If the child failed to wear a bicycle helmet, it did not matter from a legal standpoint because the leg would have fractured any way. Let’s take another situation in which the child suffered a severe head injury or traumatic brain injury. In this situation, if the child did not wear a helmet, the issue would be whether the helmet would have reduced or prevented the injuries in some manner.

A bicycle accident was recently reported in Anchorage Alaska. A 13 year old girl was riding her bicycle. She was at an intersection and pressed the crosswalk button and waited for her “right of way” or signal to proceed across the intersection. Unfortunately, she was hit by a vehicle. She suffered serious injuries including a head injury. She was wearing a helmet. Since the accident, the mother – Sarah Robicheaux – has made it a point to tell others about the importance of bicycle helmets. Mrs. Robicheaux firmly believes that the helmet saved her child’s life. While the girl did suffer significant personal injuries, the girl may have lost her life if not for the protection provided by the bicycle helmet. You can read more about this story at Mother Urges Others to Wear Bicycle Helmet.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Medical Care – Treatment, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

Published on:

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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All-terrain vehicles seem to be the cause of several injuries among Alaska’s youth. In the month of July, the state has already reported three separate accidents. In one, a child riding an ATV collided with car sustaining only mild injuries. In another, a rider was hospitalized after she went off the road and hit several trees. Lastly, two 17-year-old girls riding an ATV rolled-over killing one girl and injuring the other.

The two most persistent problems among youthful ATV drivers: they are inadequately prepared to operated the powerful vehicles underneath them and they do not wear the proper safety gear. Alaskans are urging the State Legislature to create new laws that will require Alaska’s youthful ATV drivers and riders to wear helmets.

Another problem is that adults are letting children drive adult-sized ATVs. According to the Alaska Brain Injury Network Inc., children younger than 16-years-old account for one-third of all ATV-related deaths and injuries nationally. ATVs have dual roles for fun and function. However, powerful devices, such as ATVs, are inherently dangerous and should only be operated by those who are mature and properly acquainted with the device.

If you would like to read more statistics and information on this topic see ATVs become a problem in Alaska.

If you would like to read other articles on ATV-related injuries see CBS News Reports on Dangers of Personal Injury to Children from ATV (All Terrain Vehicles).

ATVs are fun, however, they are especially dangerous for children. Adults should teach their children at an early age the proper safety rules on the use of ATVs. Kids should always wear a helmet and be taught what to do in situations if the ATV happens to malfunction. When a child is driving an ATV, make sure an adult is always supervising the activity.

Published on:

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Anchorage, Alaska, a 9 year old boy died after suffering injuries at the Kenai Peninsula State Fair. The boy was at the fair with his family and a cow owned by the family. Apparently, Mathias Martin tied a rope around his waste that was also tied to the cow. Since the cow was domesticated, Mathias did not recognize the risk or danger of such an act. According to the father, the cow became spooked or scared for some reason and took off. The boy was then dragged by the cow. As a result thereof, the boy suffered serious head injuries. Mathias later died at Providence Alaska Medical Center.

This was a tragic loss for the Martin family and the community. This story shows that animals are unpredictable and can be dangerous. You can read about this story at Alaskan Boy Dragged by Cow at Fair Dies of Head Injuries

Published on:

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Alaska has enacted a new law that required children under the age of 8 years old or under the weight of 65 pounds require to be placed in a car or booster seat while traveling on roads in Alaska. Complying with the law is important. Making sure that a child is adequately provided with safety measures is vital. It has been reported that the leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 14 years old in Alaska is related to motor vehicle accidents. Using infant seats, booster seats for children and seat belts can save lives. You can read more about Alaska’s new law at What You Need to Know About Alaska’s Child Booster Seat Laws.

Published on:

By Scott A. Marks, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Federal authorities snared an extremely dangerous child predator. Their efforts have removed an extremely dangerous person from the community. Danny Michael Harvey used his computer to enter chat rooms. One such chat room catered to child pedophiles. An undercover federal agent responded to a post by Mr. Harvey. The agent claimed he was a grandfather with the sole custody of a 4 and 5 year old child. Mr. Harvey informed “the grandfather” that Mr. Harvey wanted to sexual molest the 5 year old granddaughter and films the acts. Mr. Harvey then purchased a lap top, other items, and a plane ticket and flew to Anchorage, Alaska from Lancaster, California. Mr. Harvey was arrested. Fortunately, this was an undercover operation and no children were harmed. It is quite frightening to read about this story. Mr. Harvey planned this trip and (in his mind) conspired with “the grandfather” to perform heinous, illegal, and immoral sexual acts on a 5 year old girl. Thank you federal authorities for removing Danny Michael Harvey from the communities of Lancaster, California, Anchorage, Alaska, and any others in which he could have abused or molested young children. You can read more about this story at California Man Sentenced to 36 Years for Child Pornography.

Published on:

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Drinking and driving or driving under the influence is a danger in every city and town throughout the United States. Alaska is no exception to the dangers. in Fairbanks, Alaska, a mom used a different approach to dealing with the dangers of driving under the influence. This mother used her 7 year old son to drive her car. According to Alaska State Troopers, the mother was passed out next to her son. Karen Koch was charged with reckless endangerment and permitting an unauthorized person to drive a motor vehicle. You can read more about this story at Alaska Mother Uses Her 7 Year Old Son to Drive Her Car – Mother Passed Out Drunk in Car.

Published on:

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Cruelty to animals is no laughing matter. Recently, students at Colony Middle School were disciplined after their actions led to the death of a moose. The students thought it was a good idea to taunt and tease the animal. The moose was so upset that the moose repeatedly threw itself against a wall until it died. Some may read this article and dismiss it as a childhood prank. The incident really does have a bigger meaning. It shows how far students will go to tease animals or other children for that matter. Children should show empathy for their peers, teachers, and animals. Many animals are defenseless and should be treated with respect and dignity. It is a shame that bullying and teasing led to the death of the Moose. Officials acted properly in disciplining the children.

You can read more about this story at Middle School Students in Alaska Disciplined After Teasing and Taunting a Moose.

Published on:

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Alaska State Trooper and other search teams have been investigating the disappearance of two teens, Rondy Lamont (age 17) and Matalena Tinke (age 14). The two teens were on a snowmachine heading home to Pitka’s Point, Alaska from St. Mary’s, Alaska. The search revealed fresh snowtracks from a snowmachine leading into the an area where the Andreafsky River meets the Yukon River. The search continues for the teens and the snowmachine but it is feared that they died when the snowmachine went into the icy waters.

Cold weather and the elements bring children out for sport and adventure in many states including Alaska. It also brings with it dangers of unsafe roads, trails, and weak grounds leading into icy waters and other perils.

You can read more about this story at Search for Missing Teens in Alaska – Tracks Discovered Near Icy Waters.