Parents Intentionally Leave Child in Hot Car
September 7, 2021 | Personal Injury
When authorities rescued a 1-year-old child from a hot car in a shopping mall parking lot, he was “breathing heavily, sweating profusely, and at grave risk of death.”
Several witnesses reported seeing a crying infant alone inside a car which was parked in a Manhasset shopping mall.
Police had to break one of the vehicle’s windows to reach the child, who was taken to a nearby hospital for observation.
According to investigators, the child’s parents set a 25-minute timer and returned to the vehicle twice to check on their son as they shopped. Authorities charged the parents with felony endangerment.
A judge released them without bail, ordered them to attend parenting classes, and admonished them to “refrain from any acts to put the child in danger.” Furthermore, the Queens County Administration for Children’s Services has started removal proceedings.
“I guess they were too busy shopping to care about their 1-year-old child,” opined Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.
Children in Hot Cars
Most people know that it’s dangerous to leave small children unattended in hot cars. But why is it so bad?
Other than collisions, heatstroke is the leading cause of vehicle-related death among children under 15. There are several safety myths in this area.
Some people believe that light-colored interiors don’t heat up as quickly or cracking the window provides effective relief.
Both these myths are completely untrue. They might make people or animals a bit more comfortable for short periods of time, but they have no effect on heatstroke risk.
Children’s bodies heat up about five times faster than adult’s bodies. Inside a car, this process happens quickly. The temperature inside a car sitting outside usually increases about twenty degrees in ten minutes.
Furthermore, the risk is not just during the summer. Vehicle-related heatstroke can happen once the outside temperature exceeds 60 degrees.
One of the easiest ways to prevent a tragedy is to toss your purse, phone, backpack, or other such item into the back seat when you get in the car. This way, you will check the backseat before exiting your vehicle.
Additionally, secure your vehicle when you are not in it.
A significant number of vehicle heatstrokes occur when children play games like hide-and-seek or race car driver inside vehicles and lock themselves inside them.
So, keep your car locked, keep the keys away from children, and tell them not to play inside a car.
Personal Relationships in Injury Claims
If a child dies or sustains a serious injury in such an incident, there are some very understandable emotional reasons why the child’s representatives wouldn’t want to file a legal damages claim.
In adult passenger injury claims, there are some additional legal issues, on top of the emotional issues.
However, injury claims are not designed to “blame” anyone for an accident.
The parents and drivers in these situations rarely act intentionally and almost never act maliciously. Rather, injury claims are about obtaining the compensation these victims need and deserve.
This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills or lost future financial support, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering or lost future emotional support.
Furthermore, individual defendants are not financially responsible for these damages. Instead, an insurance company must pay them, at least in most cases.
In fact, insurance companies are also financially responsible for most other accident-related costs, such as hiring a lawyer.
The additional legal hurdle, which often comes up in adult passenger injury claims, is the assumption of the risk defense.
This doctrine excuses negligent behavior if the victim voluntarily assumed a known risk.
Most people voluntarily get into most cars. However, the risk of a collision is usually a possible risk, as opposed to a known one.
Negligently, Recklessly, and Intentionally
These three things are usually the mental states in different injury claims. Some people think these terms are interchangeable or that they have hidden meanings.
It’s important for a New York personal injury attorney to clarify these terms not only for jurors, but also for their clients.
Negligence is basically a lack of care. Not every shortcoming is negligent.
Speeding is a good example. In most cases, driving 5mph over the limit is probably not negligent. Driving 10mph over the limit is different.
Recklessness is a step above negligence.
Usually, people or companies are reckless if they ignore known risks. Not surprisingly, reckless driving is a good example of recklessness. Usually, officers issue these citations if drivers violate two or more traffic laws at the same time.
If Debbie was speeding as she weaved in and out of traffic, she was probably reckless. If she was only doing one of these things, she was probably negligent.
Intentional is the mindset in intentional torts, like assault. Usually, intentional means non-accidental. It doesn’t mean malicious.
A person may not maliciously deface a piece of art at a museum, but they may intentionally deface it.
A few life hacks can effectively prevent vehicle-related heatstroke among children. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in New York, contact Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC.
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