My child was injured or killed while riding his bicycle. What are our rights?
- March 29, 2017
One of the most enjoyable activities for children is riding a bicycle. It provides them with a new world of freedom. They may be able to ride to a friend’s house or even do errands for their family. This type of freedom comes with risks. Children between the ages of five and 14 have the highest rate of bicycle accidents. Thousands of children go to the hospital each month as a result of being injured riding a bicycle. Some of them sustain injuries so serious it kills them. When this happens, the parents or legal guardians of the child should speak with an attorney and know their rights.
Accidents involving children often occur in places where people can expect them to happen. One of the most common bicycle accident areas is the neighborhood where a child lives. It may happen when cars drive too fast in a residential area combined with a child who doesn’t know how to avoid an accident. These are collisions that can cause a child serious injuries. A driver is responsible even if a child is difficult to see. It’s also common for children to be in bicycle accidents at intersections. Too many times a child will go in front of a turning vehicle. Drivers need to realize when a child is riding a bike in a crosswalk; the child has the right-of-way. A vehicle can’t turn unless the driver is absolutely certain it is safe to proceed.
It’s important that people realize accidents involving children riding bicycles is something that happens all year. The summertime is when the largest number of such accidents occur. Children who live in warm climates often ride their bicycles year-round. They could be going to and from school, home to a neighbor’s house and more. Drivers should not assume that since the summer months are past, they no longer have to worry about looking for children riding bicycles.
After An Accident
It’s important when a child is involved in any accident to wait for medical care to arrive. A police officer will be able to provide an official report once they arrive at the scene. A child may seem to not have any injuries, but too many times serious and permanent injuries are not evident until after the accident. It’s important to obtain driver information if possible. Leave the bike and other damaged property in the same condition as after an accident. Be certain to take pictures if possible. It’s essential for a child’s parent or legal guardian to speak with an attorney before speaking with the insurance company or companies involved. It is the job of the insurance company to obtain information to be used against the parent or legal guardian to obtain a lower settlement.
Duty of Care
People who operate a motor vehicle are required to exercise reasonable care on the road. When it comes to children, a driver’s duty of care is even higher. Children are held to a lower standard of carefulness. A driver going through an area such as a school, park, residential area and more are expected to be extremely vigilant.
Should a child be injured during a bicycle accident with a vehicle, the insurance company providing coverage could be responsible for paying all of a child’s medical bills associated with the accident. This could include medical costs associated with long-term care if necessary and more. Should a child experiences a permanent injury that would limit their future opportunities, this could be compensated. It’s possible a case could involve being paid for a child’s pain and suffering and more. A child’s bicycle and any other property damaged in the accident may also be compensated.
Parents or legal guardians of a minor child will have a legal claim if their child dies in an accident. They will be entitled to recover for the grief associated with the loss of a child. This compensation could include loss of companionship and more. It’s possible for an economic benefit to be given to parents or legal guardian if they were planning for the child to support them when they got older. Compensation could take the form of the loss of the pleasure from experiencing the child growing up. The loss of being part of the child’s life should they have gotten married and have children of their own. This could be matched against the amount of time a parent or parents could reasonably be anticipated to live.