As a Fort Lauderdale injuries to children and minors attorney, I was sorry to see a report that a child was seriously hurt after an accident at Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground. According to a Nov. 2 article on WESH.com, Chloe Wicht, age four, was riding in a golf cart with her father, Charles Wicht, 37, of Big Pine Key at around 10:30 p.m. The elder Wicht told sheriff’s deputies that he swerved to avoid an oncoming golf cart that was not using lights. The force of the swerve tipped over the Wichts’ golf cart, pinning Chloe underneath. She was flown to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando for treatment of injuries to her head, face and throat, and is reportedly in stable but guarded condition.
I’m pleased to see that the little girl is not in immediate danger, although injuries to the head and neck could be serious, lasting injuries. The article doesn’t give many details, but as a Deerfield Beach child injury lawyer, I’m very interested in knowing more about the circumstances of the accident. In particular, I would like to know who was driving the other golf cart and why he or she allegedly wasn’t using headlights. The article mentions that Charles Wicht was using his personal golf cart, but Disney does rent carts for use at the Fort Wilderness campground. If the other driver negligently failed to use the headlights, he or she may be entirely liable for Chloe’s injuries. Blame may also fall on Disney if it rented a golf cart to someone who was inappropriate for the responsibility, because of age, intoxication or previous driving record. And given that golf carts never have seat belts or doors, it’s also worth investigating whether the manufacturer of the Wichts’ cart made a cart that was defectively easy to tip over with a sudden swerve at low speeds.
Here in Florida, we are fortunate to have theme parks and natural wonders that attract many thousands of visitors every year. As I have written on this blog before, most tourists leave safe and happy — but a handful of people each year sustain preventable injuries on theme park property. According to a report by the Orlando Sentinel, at least 11 people sued Disney’s Fort Wilderness for injuries on its premises between Jan. 1, 2004 and Dec. 21, 2008. They include a woman who claims she was injured after she was run off a path by a golf cart, as well as various people claiming injuries from slips, accidents with equipment and auto accidents. Like all businesses open to visitors, theme parks have a legal obligation to keep their premises as safe as reasonably possible. That’s especially important for businesses aimed at children, who don’t have the same sense of danger that their parents might. When businesses fail in that duty, they are liable for any resulting injuries to children or adults.
Cohn, Smith & Cohn is proud to represent families seeking justice for their seriously injured kids and teens. Cases involving serious injuries to minors are emotionally difficult, but they can also be legally and fiscally complex. When a young person is injured, he or she may face a permanent injury requiring follow-up or lifelong medical care, as well as a lifetime of reduced earnings or the inability to hold a job at all. When that’s the case, an experienced Hialeah injuries to minors attorney must calculate and prove all of those damages, to ensure that the child is adequately cared for. Our attorneys have more than 25 years of experience in personal injury law, so we have the experience and the expertise to make sure our clients won’t be cheated by careless mistakes or insurance companies determined to pay as little as possible.
If a kid you love was seriously injured by another person’s carelessness, you don’t have to just live with it. Call Cohn, Smith & Cohn today for a free evaluation of your case, at no further obligation to you. You can reach us online or call our main office in Broward County at (954) 431-8100.