Articles Posted in Texas

Published on:

Calendar-300x295The statute of limitations is the time period by which a party or victim needs to take legal action to enforce rights and / or seek financial compensation for the negligence or intentional harm caused by a person, business, and / or government entity.  These time limits are proscribed or set by the legislation in statutes / laws.  The time period for a particular case will depend on the state where the incident took place, the type of action brought, and the parties involved.  Over the years, legislatures have broadened the time limits by which a victim can bring forth a case based on the sexual abuse of the victim.

The statute of limitation in sexual abuse cases has always been a topic of discussion amongst the law community as it is very impactful on the amount of cases received by firms. The topic is also sensitive when understanding the physical and emotional trauma that may impede an individual from filing a lawsuit within a set amount of time after the incident. As time has gone on and many states have become more progressive and understanding of the victim’s position in sexual abuse cases, we have seen a positive trend in the expansion of statutes of limitations in these cases. Just recently, both New York and New Jersey passed laws affecting their statute of limitations. What’s interesting is that they both went about this in different ways. Having realized that many cases of sexual abuse involving a child had been swept under the rug, New York passed the Child Victims Act (CVA) which repeals the statute of limitations on these cases for a period of a year and raises the age limit to 28 in criminal cases and 55 in civil suits . The one-year grace period for cases outside of the statutes of limitations led to 439 cases being filed on just its first day enacted. New Jersey’s approach was to raise the statutes of limitations age to 55 for all child abuse cases or within 7 years of the victim’s realization that the abuse caused harm. The most recent example of a state that is expanding its statute of limitations involving sexual crimes is Texas. Effective September 1st, the statute of limitations has been doubled from 15 to 30 for personal injury claims related to sexual assault.

What is important about the changes being made in these states is that it sends a message to survivors of these heinous crimes that legislators are listening and that they are not going unheard. These changes encourage more people to report actions that may be considered sexual assault/abuse and gives less reasons as to why it should be brushed under the rug. With cases like Jeffrey Epstein’s reaching national media coverage, more and more states are becoming aware that they need to stand up for victims of sexual abuse. As 2019 continues, keep an eye out for more states to follow in the footsteps of New York, New Jersey, and Texas.

Published on:

Video-Surveillance-in-Child-CareIn day care centers across the nation, there are countless acts of abuse and neglect. Some get swept under the rug and never get reported. Children enrolled in a child care center often is an easy target because of age, the inability to defend himself or herself, and the lack of communication skills to alert parents and other adults of the abuse.  Being a child care provider is not easy task.  It requires a person who is alert, physically able, and patient.  Unfortunately, far too many day care centers are run or staffed with unqualified and downright abusive people.

There are plenty of excellent day care centers that do not have video surveillance. On the “wish list” of things to have in a day care center, it is at times helpful to have video surveillance in place.  There are a number of benefits to having video surveillance in place as follows:

Video surveillance is another “set of eyes” supervising the care provided to the children.

Published on:

Day-Care-Centr-Blocks-300x194In Texas and other States, children are the unfortunate and tragic victims of day care center abuse, neglect, and carelessness.  When a child is harmed in the form of personal injuries, there may be a case or claim pursued on behalf of the injured child for compensation or damages.  This is commonly referred to as a personal injury insurance claim or civil case. It should be noted that a civil case is different than a criminal case.  

A criminal case is pursued by local law enforcement and the prosecutor or district attorney.  When there is a crime committed whether it is intentional conduct or grossly reckless conduct, the criminal case focuses on the crime committed rather than the ability to collect compensation or monetary damages from the criminal defendant or day care center operator.  The successful pursuit of the criminal case also does not depend on the existence or amount of liability insurance coverage. 

A civil case is pursued by the family of the injured child through the services of a Child Injury Lawyer.  From a legal standpoint, there are four elements to establish in a civil case:

Published on:

By David A. Wolf, Attorney – Child Injury Lawyer Blog

4_ToysWhile enrolled in a day care center, a child should be supervised in an environment that is safe and free from hazards.  The day care center should follow its own policies and procedures as well as the policies and procedures set forth by state and local licensing agencies and laws.  It is difficult to legislate or regulate every since situation or care provisions that take place in a day care center.  Furthermore, it should be noted that common sense can be used in the day care center. If something seems dangerous or risky to a child, then the hazard should be removed.  It is well known that children are curious and lack safety awareness.  As such, anything within reach of a child that can cause harm should be kept away from a child.  This includes but it not limited to hot water, liquids, food, ovens, burners, and other items that can and will cause burn type of injuries to a child.  When a child is burned, first aid should be provided and the parents and when necessary fire rescue / emergency services should be called in.

A civil case on behalf of child involves four essential elements:

Published on:

By David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Truck Accident.001In Texas and other states, commercial trucks and semi-tractor trailers are common on the streets, roads, and expressways.  Due to the size of these trucks, it is important that the truck driver take all proper and necessary safety precautions for the safety of other drivers and passengers who will travel on and through the same streets, roads, and expressways. One measure that should be taken is to inspect the vehicle before departure to make sure that the height and width of the truck can safety travel under and through all bridges and overpasses.  For instance, if the truck is equipped with a boom or crane, it is vital that the boom or crane is lowered and otherwise secured that the truck is safe for travel through all roadways on the intended itinerary.  If there are any objects that are too tall or wide for safe travel, there can be disastrous consequences, accidents, crashes, personal injuries, and wrongful deaths.

Published on:

By David Wolf, Attorney

book-abcChild care providers should provide each and every child with a safe environment.  There is a duty to provide reasonable and necessary supervision.  While a day care center owner is not liable for every injury that takes place, it can be held liable for those injuries that result from the negligence or carelessness of the day care center provider.  It is vital that a day care center provider not only provide reasonable and necessary supervision but it is also important to provide prompt care and follow up when an injury or condition is observed by the day care center.   Unfortunately, many day care center providers attempt to “sweep or hide an injury under the rug” and fail to inform the parents of the injury so that timely and necessary medical care can be provided to the injured child.
Published on:

By Robert Chaiken, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

education%20school%20day%20care%20yellow%20school%20bus%20toy%20antique%20side%20view.jpgIn Texas and other States, children are enrolled in schools, day care centers, after school supervision, sports leagues, and other programs. While enrolled in these programs, children should be supervised in an environment that promotes their education, safety, and well being. The teachers, aides, coaches, and others should be subjected to background checks. Furthermore, they should act professionally and have the proper demeanor and attitude to work with children. It takes a certain disposition and personality to work with and supervise children. Some have what it takes to properly care or and supervise children while others do not. Unfortunately, children are often injured by the very people who are employed to care for them. When a child is injured at a school, day care center, after school program or other program / facility, there are often challenges and issues to the case or claim. Because of these challenges and complexities, it is often times helpful to consult with a Child Injury Lawyer for advice and legal representation.

Published on:

By Robert Chaiken, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

handcuffs%20on%20white%20background.jpgIn Texas and other States, incidents that take place at day care centers or as a result of day care center negligence or neglect can and do result in the criminal prosecution of the employees and / or administrators of the day care center. In most States, a person can be arrested for reckless conduct that is not intentional in nature. A good example is a DUI crash involving injury. The DUI driver did not necessarily intend to run over the pedestrian but the DUI driver was certainly reckless in driving under the influence of alcohol. In this case, the driver was reckless and can be arrested and prosecuted for crimes related to the pedestrian / automobile accident.

Published on:

By Robert Chaiken, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

education%20school%20day%20care%20building%20block%20y.jpgIn Texas and other States, day care centers have the duty to provide timely and consistent supervision of children enrolled in the day care problem. The day care center and staff should properly monitor and account for the children during activities inside the facility, outside the faciliuty, and during field trips. The transportation of children enrolled in Texas day care centers and summer camps can lead to serious personal injuries if there is careless driving on the part of the day care center van driver or other drivers on the roadway. Transporation can also involve the risks of children left behind in the van especially during the sweltering heat of summer. Tragically, a number of children have died as a result of being left behind in a day care center van or school bus. Many day care care center employees, owners, and administrators do not realize the risks associated with leaving a child unattended in a hot vehicle even for just a few minutes. While there are van and bus alarms that can be installed to remind the driver and attendant to clear out the van or bus, there is also a simple process or procedure that can be and should be used during each and every list. It is called a checklist. The use and consistent completion of a checklist can and does save lives. Each child transported on the field trip should be on the list. Roll call should be taken when the bus or van stops at its location. Thereafter, another roll call should be completed when all of the children have exited the van or bus. In addition, it makes sense as a safety precaution for the driver and an attendant (if available) to each do a visual sweep of the entire van and bus at all stops and destinations.

Published on:

By Robert Chaiken, Attorney & David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

Technology%20Video%20Surveillance.jpgIn Texas and other States, children are the unfortunate and tragic victims of abuse and neglect a day care centers. While many incidents are reported and investigated by local law enforcement, many such incidents go unreported and are hidden from the parents of the abused and neglected child. With technology and other advances, many day care centers now have video surveillance in the facility. Many day care centers even offer parents a portal during the day so that parents can log in and view the day care center activities and child care. Video surveillance often times is effective in helping the day care center owner and parents monitor the care provided by the day care center employees, staff, and volunteers. One would think that the presence of video surveillance would deter the imposition of unauthorized and abusive corporal punishment and other harmful acts of day care center employees and staff. Even with video surveillance in place, some employees still abuse and neglect children even with a camera pointed at them. It may be that the employee did not know that video surveillance was in place or had forgotten about the presence of video surveillance.