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Questionable Parenting or Negligence? Hot Car Concerns

Sweltering weather might not be the first thing on our mind at this time, but lawmakers are already anticipating problems that might arise this summer. A new bill advanced in the South Carolina House would combat the epidemic of parents leaving children in hot cars, a deadly practice that caused the deaths of 31 children last year alone. Understanding what is within a parent’s right and what is considered negligence should never be a fine line, but there does seem to be a question about whether bystanders should be able to intervene to save a life, or if the rescue is better left to law enforcement and similar personnel.

Negligence Standards

Negligence is a legal concept that is defined in terms of duty. Duty is an obligation that one party has to another party to act reasonably in a particular set of circumstances. For example, a storeowner has a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe for patrons at the store; the owner must clean up spills, monitor for any dangerous conditions, and warn customers of those he is not able to remedy immediately. If the owner fails to live up to his duty, he is said to breach the duty. If that breach causes damage to another person, he may be held liable for negligence.

With parenting, the law protects a family’s right to raise their children as they see fit. Negligence lawsuits have been commonplace in non-traditional families that advocate for non-use of medical procedures, blood transfusions, or other life saving medication or medical care. When it comes to parenting, the justice system tends to have a “hands-off” approach. In the case of something like leaving a child in a hot car, however, it becomes apparent that there is something suspect about the “reasonableness” of leaving a child to die in a vehicle without any immediate consequences, civil or criminal. A parent’s duty to care for a child is necessary for the health and safety of the child, often too young or immature to care for themselves. These types of cases indicate the high level of responsibility a parent must have over their children to ensure their health and safety.

South Carolina Negligence Attorneys

If you have been affected by the loss of a child or loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. At Solomon Law Group, we understand that no amount of money or legal recourse can possibly give you back what you lost. Being able to hold people accountable for their actions and ensuring that you have some peace of mind and closure is something our experienced South Carolina negligence attorneys will confidently advocate for so you receive the compensation you are entitled to by law. Contact our Columbia office today to learn more about your legal rights and possible course of legal action.

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