December 19, 2012

What if a Child is Injured in An Accident Involving a DUI / Drunk Driver?

By David Wolf, Attorney Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


As parents, we do our best to protect our children. We may sure that they go to school, look both ways before crossing a street, wear bicycle helmets, stay away from strangers, and otherwise keep safe at all times possible. Unfortunately, despite all of the work and good efforts of parents, there is one danger (among others) that seems to be present in virtually every community that we as parents cannot fully prevent or avoid. This danger is that of the drunk driver.

Throughout the community, children can be at risk for simply being a passenger in a vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian. The risk is magnified any time that there is a drunk driver on the road. When a child is injured as a passenger, pedestrian, or bicyclist as a result of the negligence or fault of a drunk driver, a claim or case can be pursued seeking compensation for the accident related personal injuries.

The drunk driver and possibly the owner of the vehicle (if different than the drunk driver) are liable for the injuries are legally liable for the injuries caused by the negligence or fault of the drunk driver. In addition to a civil claim or case, the drunk driver could face criminal charges. It should be pointed out that the civil case and the criminal case are two separated proceedings that are independent to some extent and subject to different standards of proof. Furthermore, the focus of the civil case will be that concerning compensation while the focus of the criminal case will be that of punishment in the form of jail or prison time and thereafter probation. While restitution can be obtained or secured through the criminal case, restitution is typically limited to out of pocket economic expenses like medical bills rather than the full value of the case or injuries associated with the accident.

The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Damages/ Compensation, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

A recent drunk driving accident causing injuries to a child was reported in Ocean Beach - San Diego, California. It was reported that a drunk driver crashed into a child riding a bicycle. The child suffered a fractured leg as a result of this drunk driving incident. At the scene, the driver was arrested on criminal charges regarding suspicion of felony drunk driving. The child was transported to a local hospital for medical care following this accident. You can read more about this incident at California Accident Leads to Injuries of Child - Driver Arrested on Suspicion of Felony Drunk Driving.

December 1, 2011

Gummy Bears and Vodka - A Dangerous Combination for Children - Parents - Be On the Look Out!

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


There is a new trend out there that should cause concern to parents and child safety experts. The trend or recipe involves gummy bears (chewy sweet candy treats) and alcohol. Yes, candy mixed with alcohol is being consumed by teens as a way of "partying" and "having fun". Unfortunately, many teens lack good judgment to begin with. Then, you add alcohol to the mix and there are many risks to the teen as well as others if the teen decides to hit the road while under the influence of "alcohol". Whether alcohol is consumed through a beer bottle, wine glass, or gummy bear, the dangers are all there. See Drunk Gummies - Teens Soaking Gummy Gears in Vodka to Get a Buzz.

If a child is injured through the negligence of another person (adult or child), there can be legal ramifications both criminal and civil to such actions. The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Medical Treatment / Bills, School Injuries, Automobile Accidents, Damages / Compensation and other topics. See Free Child Injury Book for Parents.

July 25, 2011

Toddler Dies - Blackwell, Oklahoma Police Arrest Driver on Criminal DUI Charges

By Roy Dickinson, Attorney & David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


A two-year-old toddler was killed as a result of an automobile accident in Oklahoma. According to Blackwell police, the driver of a pickup truck, Ashlee Nicole Martindale, 25, ran into the back of a Dodge Neon in the 4000 block of West Doolin Avenue. Colleen Wood, 19, Destiny Turner, 18, and two-year-old Maraya Turner were in the Dodge Neon at the time of the accident. Wood and Destiny Turner were taken to the hospital for treatment and their conditions were unknown. Maraya Turner was sadly pronounced dead at the hospital.

According to the police, Martindale was arrested on charges of driving under the influence, second-degree murder, possession of marijuana and possession of hydrocodone and alprazolam without a prescription.

Oklahoma Statute § 11-902, makes it unlawful for any person to drive, operate or be in control of a motor vehicle, whether on public roads, highways, streets, turnpikes, who:

• Has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more;
• Is under the influence of alcohol; and/or
• Is under the influence of any other intoxicating substance that may render a person incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle.

For more information on this topic, see Drunken Driver Hits Car, Toddler Dies.

December 20, 2010

Pottsville Pennsylvania Woman Sentenced to 30 Days for Crashing into Day Care Center - Driving Drunk Is a Crime

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Jennifer A. Mock, 37, was ordered to serve 30 days to 6 months in prison, plus an additional 23 months on probation for driving drunk and running into a Port Carbon day care center sometime last year. Mock pleaded guilty September 23 to DUI, recklessly endangering another person and careless driving.

The accident occurred November 27, 2009 and Mock was charged with DUI shortly after. Mock was driving her Volkswagen Cabrio coupe and was distracted by a puppy sitting on her lap. After being distracted by the dog, Mock swerved around a Jeep Grand Cherokee and crashed her car into into a daycare center, Little Sunshines Day Care Center. Mock had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14, the Pennsylvania legal limit is 0.08.

After the accident and in response to local pressure, officials reduced the speed limit in the Port Carbon area to 35 mph from 45 mph as well as installed new speed limit and yellow reflective signs. If you would like to read more on this story please see Woman sentenced to jail after crashing into Pennsylvania day care.

Not only is driving under the influence illegal but it is highly dangerous and deadly. Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time, therefore, making drunk drivers more susceptible to being involved in automobile collisions and other vehicular crashes.

November 13, 2010

Day Care Driver Drunk, Unconscious and Unlicensed to Operate Day Care Center in Battle Ground, Washington

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


A woman of an unlicensed day care in Yacolt, Washington, was arrested after she was found passed out in her minivan with two children inside. The woman was identified as Sheia Mikolos, 45. According to authorities Mikolos was drunk and passed out behind the wheel. Along with the two children inside the minivan were empty and half-empty cans of beer. Mikolos was arrested on two counts of Reckless Endangerment. The children were inspected by medics then turned over to Child Protective Services, they were later returned to their parents. Mikolos is entitled to representation by a Washington criminal law attorney or a public defender. To read more on this story please see Owner of unlicensed day care center arrested after found passed out in car with two children.

Drunk driving is illegal, unsafe and highly irresponsible, especially if children are in the car with the drunk driver. Alcohol reduces ones judgment as well as impairs a person's visions and other senses. Children require constant care and supervision. Consuming alcohol while attending to the needs of a child will only negatively affect one's capabilities to properly care for and supervise the child.

May 27, 2010

Muncie, Indiana - Child Injured in Alleged Drunk Driving Automobile Accident

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In Indiana and other States, parents and other drivers continue to hit the roads with children in the vehicle while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. When driving, it is important to be alert and sharp. It is a well know fact that alcohol dulls the senses and has a definite effect on motor skills. Driving under the influence puts many people at risk including the driver, passengers (especially children), other drivers and passengers in vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. If you have been drinking, stay out of the driver's seat and get somebody sober behind the wheel. In Muncie, Indiana, a man was arrested for drunk driving charges. He had picked up the children of his fiance from a day care center and was driving the children home when he crashed into a tree. Police arrived on the scene. The children in the vehicle were young children. One was 5 years old and the other was 2 years old. Both were treated at Ball Memorial Hospital. The 5 year old was taken to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana for treatment for internal injuries. See Child Injured in Drunk Driving Incident in Muncie, Indiana.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol and / or drugs is extremely dangerous. Keep the safety of children and others in mind. If you drink - never drive. Otherwise, your driving could land an innocent child into the hospital or worse an early grave. Think smart - Don't Drink and Drive.

April 16, 2010

Prom Night Safety Measures - Keep Your Child Safe

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


High school students anticipate Prom Night every year. Plans are made including dinner, the dance, and many parties. As parents, we hope that our children will be safe and smart on Prom Night. Many things can go wrong with a late night, wild parties, and, yes, the presence of alcohol and drugs as well as the presence of those on alcohol and drugs. An article posted at Liberty County (Montana) Times had some good safety tips on Prom Night including the following:

*Make sure that your child and all others wear seat belts;

*Equip your child with a mobile telephone;

*Make sure that there are definitive plans in place and you know where your child will be during the entire evening;

*Set a reasonable curfew for your child;

*Find out the details of the prom;

*Find out the details of any pre-parties and after parties that your child with attend;

*Have a frank and honest talk with your child about the dangers of drinking and driving; and

*Be prepared on Prom Night to be available to pick your child and any friends should your driving and services be needed.

You can read other safety tips and advice at Keep Children Safe on Prom Night.

March 10, 2010

Who is Driving the Day Care Van? Driving Under the Influence No Contest Plea in Wichita, Kansas

By Jonathan Safran, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In Kansas and other states, children in day care centers are often times put at risk by unsafe day care center drivers. Some of these drivers even choose to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Witchita, Kansas, a former day care owner was charged with driving under the influence. She later pled no contest to the charges. Police were tipped off as to the owner's intoxication by day care center workers who say the owner leave with children in a day care center vehicle. The day care center workers were concerned and contacted the police. Fortunately, no children were harmed by the reckless conduct of the day care owner but her actions certainly put the children in the vehicle at risk. In addition, any other drivers / passengers, pedestrians, and bicylists in the area of the day care center owner's driving were also put at risk. You can read more about this story at Former Day Care Center Owner Guilty of DUI Charges.

February 1, 2010

Pedestrian Safety Rules for Children Can Help Avoid Personal Injuries and Deaths

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Tragically, children are injured and die every year while crossing the street. In some instances, the injuries are caused by driver inattention or driver distraction. In other instances, the injuries are caused in part by the child's inattention or distraction. Some times, the incident is caused by both the fault of the driver and the child. Parents, teachers, and caregivers should do their best to educate children about child pedestrian safety. USA Safe Kids has a very useful website that has a page titled Safe Kids Walk This Way. It contains a list of Child Pedestrian Safety Rules that should be reviewed with children. Simple safety precautions can help avoid serious personal injuries and deaths to children attempting to cross the street. Of course, all the care in the world cannot prevent death or injury to a child as a result of careless driving, negligent driving, or drunk driving.

January 29, 2010

New York - Driving While Intoxicated With a Child - Felony

By Steven Smith, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In New York, it is now a felony to drive a vehicle while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle. Drivers, many are the very parents of the child in the vehicle, should refrain from driving any time that a child or any other person would be put in danger while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Far too many personal injuries and deaths occur on New York roads due to drunk driving. The New York law was named after a child who died as a result of a drunk driver. Leandra Rosado, of Manhattan (New York) died as a passenger in vehicle going to a sleepover. There were also six other children in the vehicle at the time. While this law will not bring Leandra, who was only 11 years old at the time of the incident, back to us. Hopefully, the law will be a further deterrent to continued drunk driving on New York roads. You can read more about this law at New York's Felony Law Takes Effect.

January 27, 2010

Texting Ban and Other Laws In Place for the State of Illinois

By David M. Baum, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Legislators in the State of Illinois are attempting to make the roads a little safer in Illinois by passing a ban on texting while driving law. It is not against Illinois law to drive while texting, checking e mail, updating Facebook, or otherwise surfing the Internet on handheld devices, mobile phones, and computers. There have been a great number of accidents attributed to distracted driving caused by these activities. The new laws make sense and should discourage many drivers from engaging in such acts. Of course, there have been driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence laws in effect for years; yet, people still drink and drive. Tragically, personal injuries continue to occur as a result of drinking and driving. While the new Illinois law will not completely eradicate texting while driving and other dangerous acts while driving, the new laws should reduce the incidents of such acts. The law should be a deterrent to drivers in the State of Illinois especially if the law is properly enforced. You can read more these new Illinois laws at Texting Ban While Driving - One of Many New Illinois Laws.

January 22, 2010

Albany, New York – Leandra’s Law Passed, Drunk Driving with a Child is Now a Felony

By Steven Smith, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

In October 2009, it is alleged that Carmen Huertas drank heavily and then put seven children in a car to take them to a slumber party. A subsequent crash caused the death of 11 year old Leandra Rosado. Leandra’s death inspired a new law to protect children from drunk drivers, and New York’s Governor Paterson has signed it into law. The new law, called Leandra’s Law, makes it a felony to drive drunk when there is a child fifteen years of age or younger in the car. It also requires convicted drunk drivers to have ignition locks on their cars.

The bill is considered one of the toughest drunk driving laws in the nation, and it was approved unanimously by the Assembly and the Senate, and signed into law hours later. All together the bill took less than a month to become law. Leandra’s father, Lenny Rosado, said the law will help him move on from the death of his child, knowing that her tragic death may help save other children. Rosado himself lobbied the legislature to pass the bill. Now, he says the next step in healing is to attend the trial of Ms. Huertas. He then plans to try to get Leandra’s Law passed nationally. Read more of the details of Lenny Rosado’s battle to protect other children from drunk drivers at Leandra's Law official: Driving drunk with child in car felony after death of Leandra Rosado, 11.

November 13, 2009

Alamosa, Colorado – Teen Drunk Driver Injures Children in Car Accident

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

A sixteen year old girl with no driver’s license and a borrowed car drove into a tree outside the Wagon Wheel Mobile Home Park in Alamosa, Colorado. She had three other teenagers and two small children, aged 20 months and 4 years, in the car with her at the time. The car had been borrowed from a relative of one of the passengers. The girl is expected to be charged with drunk driving (DUI), driving without a license and criminal negligence resulting in the injury of a child. The driver is claiming that a steering malfunction caused her to miss the turn she was trying to make into the park, and sent her into the tree instead.

Teen drinking and driving is unfortunately an all too common occurrence. Teenagers and adults alike often lack good judgment when drinking alcohol. Teenagers, however, are less likely to know their own limits and do stupid things while under the influence. There is no doubt that this young woman put her life and the lives of her passengers at risk by driving her car in such a condition. You can read more about this senseless accident at CHILDREN, TEEN INJURED IN ACCIDENT.

November 11, 2009

Las Vegas, Nevada – Mom (Vanessa Ramirez) Allows Children to Ride With Allegedly Drunk Driver (Nancy Lopez)

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

Nancy Owens and Vanessa Ramirez were at a birthday party together, where both have admitted to drinking. Ms. Owens reportedly allowed Ms. Lopez to drive her three children home, even though she admitted to police that she was aware Ms. Lopez was "drunk."

Police pulled Ms. Lopez over after seeing “something” fall from her car while she was driving it. It turned out to be a child. The car was carrying ten people at the time, including seven children, none of whom were properly restrained. A witness from the party said that he saw two other children fall out of the car as Ms. Lopez was leaving the party. The three children who had fallen out of the car were all rushed to the hospital, one of them (Ms. Ramirez’ child) is still in critical condition.

Ms. Lopez admitted to officers that she had been drinking beer at the party, and there was an open bottle of beer in the car. She refused a sobriety test. She has been charged with seven counts of child endangerment, drunken driving, driving with a suspended license, driving without her headlights on and having an open container in a vehicle. Ramirez has also been charged with child endangerment for putting her kids in that car. All of the children have been removed from the care of their parents.

This case shows the dangers of alcohol, not just when driving, but when making important choices about the health and safety of children.

Find out more about this story at Police: Mother Left Kids With Drunk Driver.

August 29, 2009

Bar Owner (Marion Albert) Backs Vehicle into Albany, New York Day Care Center

By Steven Smith, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In Albany, New York, a bar owner backed a vehicle out of her driveway into a day care center. Marion Albert (age 77) backed out of her drive way, jumped a curb and then crashed into a day care center. A 15 year old girl was injured and suffered a fractured leg. Two other people (a 21 year old in the day care center and a one year old) suffered minor injuries. Fortunately, most of the children enrolled in the day care center were on a field trip at the time of the crash. Ms. Albert was charged with reckless driving, aggravated vehicular assault, felony driving while intoxicated, and endangering the welfare of a child. You can read more about this story at Bar Owner Backs Vehicle into Albany, New York Day Care Center.

May 23, 2009

Pennsylvania High School Orders Shot Glasses as Prom Favors - Poor Judgment and Message for Students

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In Pennsylvania and other States, underage drinking among high schoolers is a big problem. Teenagers often lack good judgment when drinking alcohol. They do not know their own limits, understand the true effects of alcohol, and do stupid things while under the influence of alcohol. At Warwick High School in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, shot glasses were ordered as prom favors. Yes, high school students drink. This is no secret; however, giving out shot glasses as prom favors really sends the wrong message. Eventually, school officials recognized the fact that this was the wrong message but somebody should have caught the order much sooner. Lesson learned. You can read more about this story at High School Ordered Shot Glasses for Prom Favors in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

May 17, 2009

Alaska Mom Uses Her 7 Year Old Son as a Designated Driver - Poor Judgment and Alcohol Use

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


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.

March 26, 2009

Another Drunk Driver Kills a Promising Young Woman (Elizabeth Durante of West Islip New York)

By Steven Smith, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Elizabeth Durante of West Islip New York was a young and caring college student. Recently she and other fellow students were driving from New York to Massachusetts, on their way to a humanitarian project in Uganda. A 24 year old Connecticut resident was driving under the influence when he operated his vehicle in the wrong direction on busy interstate 395. It was late at night and the drunken driver had no headlights on. His vehicle smashed head on into the vehicle in which Elizabeth Durante was a passenger, killing her.

As so often happens, Daniel Musser, the operator of the other vehicle escaped the accident with no major injuries. He was arrested, however and charged with Manslaughter, a felony, violating the Vehicle and Traffic Law by operating on a highway in the wrong direction and driving under the influence.

Durante was majoring in psychology and pre-med and yet another superb life was taken by senseless acts of stupidity. Parents should stress to their children the importance of driving sober all the time.

You can read more about this tragic death at Drunk Driver Causes Death of Elizabeth Durante of New York.

February 6, 2009

Two Mississippi Children Die as a Result of Crash - Trial Set for Driver Charged with DUI Causing Death

By Jay Foster, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Trial has been set for Larry Setzer of Horn Lake, Mississippi who has been charged with two counts of causing a death while driving a car under the influence (DUI) and causing an personal injuries and death. Car accidents by DUI can affect all of us, including our children. At the time of the car wreck Setzer was not drinking but was on a drug called Xanax. Anything that can impair motor skills and alertness including but not limited to illegal drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, and sleep deprivation put innocent adults and children at risk on Mississippi highways and roads.

The two victims were Jacob Lannom (age 12) and Zachary Lannon (age 15). The boys' mother and a passenger were also hurt. Criminal defense attorneys are attempting to keep evidence of Xanax in Larry Setzer's blood out as evidence for the trial.

For a family to lose two children in one accident is truly tragic. This case and others shows the dangers of drug and alcohol when driving.

You can read more about this story at Lake Horn, Mississippi Man Arrested for DUI Causing Death.

January 27, 2009

Georgia Parents and Homeowners Can Be Liable for Serving Alcohol to Minors at House Parties

By Stephanie Brown and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Parents and homeowners in Georgia need to be cautious about serving alcohol at parties where minors may be in attendance. Under Georgia’s “Dram Shop” law, parents can be held liable for injuries caused by an underaged drinker who later causes an automobile accident. If the parent served the alcohol to the minor who the parent knew would soon be driving a car and the minor’s driving while intoxicated caused injury to a third person, the parent can be held liable for those injuries. If the drunk minor sustains injuries, however, the parent who provided the alcohol cannot be held liable for those injuries. Furthermore, if the drunk minor is killed in the car accident, his parents cannot recover for the wrongful death of their child against the adult who provided the alcohol. Howell v. Marks, 269 Ga. App. 147 (2004).

The laws and circumstances can be quite confusing depending on the facts of each case. As such, it makes sense to consult with a Child Injury Lawyer whenever a child is injured and alcohol has any involvement whatsoever with the injuries or death.

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