If my child has been injured or killed by a motor vehicle when he or she was a pedestrian, what are our rights?
- March 29, 2017
Losing your child or seeing your child injured by a vehicle while the child is simply walking on the sidewalk or on the side of the road is often heartbreaking. It’s an experience that you don’t want to live through as it changes the dynamics of your life. There are rights that you have in regards to filing a suit against the driver responsible. Any claim that is filed should be done so as quickly as possible so that the people who are involved can be punished as soon as the law allows and so that you get the compensation and coverage that is allowed by the state and that the judge awards.
When there are children involved in a pedestrian accident, there is greater care used by the law for the child’s protection as well as the protection of the family. The law will often move faster when it comes to cases involving children, especially if the child has been injured and needs therapy or other types of treatment to live a normal life after the accident.
Children are often seen as impulsive. The law understands that children are unpredictable at times when they are in the role of a pedestrian. Because of these thoughts by the law, drivers are expected to understand that the actions could be sporadic when it comes to children. If the driver sees or expects that children are in the area, then the driver is held at a higher responsibility while driving as the presence should serve as a warning to be on the lookout for actions that can be taken by the child.
If your child is injured of killed by a driver of a motor vehicle, you have every right to sue the driver. You need to be able to provide documentation that the driver was at least partially at fault for the accident. The documentation that you are given by the police officer should be sufficient in proving these claims. Even if the child did something that would have caused the child to be partially at fault, you can still file a claim against the driver because the driver should have been paying attention if the child was seen. Damages received might go toward the child’s part in the fault of the accident based on the percentage that is determined of how much your child was in the wrong at the time. An example would be 50 percent. This would mean that the fault is shared. If the claim settles for $50,000, then you would only receive $25,000 because half would go toward the damages that you owe.
When you think about the rules of the road when there are multiple drivers involved, each driver has a responsibility to pay attention to what’s taking place so that there isn’t an accident. When there is a pedestrian involved, a driver has more of a responsibility because the pedestrian isn’t as easy to see. This responsibility increases when the pedestrian is a child or children. The reason for the higher degree is because the driver is behind the wheel of an instrument that could inflict serious injury or death.
Children are often at a higher risk for pedestrian related injuries and deaths. They are smaller than an adult in most cases, and their actions simply make it difficult to know what they will do while they are walking. Once the accident occurs, you need to take as many pictures as possible with the vehicle in the position that it ended in at the scene. This will help to give an attorney or the insurance company an idea as to what might have happened. You want to take pictures of any skid marks at the scene. Get statements from those who saw the accident. When you go to court if the insurance company doesn’t settle the claim beforehand, you will need to present these pictures and statements so that they can be reviewed. Most claims don’t take long to process, giving you a peace of mind about any form of punishment that the driver might be dealt and any compensation for the injuries or death.