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Drivers are more likely to be liable in a child bicycle crash

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2017 | Car Accidents |

Most bicycle versus car accidents involve children. This is because 1) children are often riding bicycles since it’s one of the only modes of transportation available to them, and 2) children are less capable of avoiding car crashes.

Consider your 9-year-old son compared to your 39-year-old brother. When these two people get on bicycles, your brother is going to be a lot smarter about staying safe. Meanwhile, your 9-year-old son will be more likely to dart into traffic unexpectedly.

Your sibling is mentally analyzing the risks of specific circumstance in order to avoid getting hurt. He has a higher concern for his own mortality and more life experience to know how to avoid a crash. Your son, unfortunately, is more likely to get into a crash.

Courts hold drivers to a higher standard of care around kids

Whether children are playing in the neighborhood on foot, or riding their bicycles to school down a busy avenue, when a motorist sees a child, the driver must take into consideration that children act in unexpected ways.

Here are a few things that motorists need to do when children are around:

  • Slow down
  • Give extra space
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Give children the right of way

Northern California courts recognize how important it is to keep our children safe. As such, drivers who fail to take reasonable precautions around children will usually be blamed for damages if they get into a crash with a child as a result of negligence. Courts also hold drivers to a higher standard of care and due diligence when children are around.

Let’s say, for example, that an adult bicyclist darts into traffic unexpectedly and gets hit. The driver may be able to say that the accident was the adult’s fault. However, if the bicyclist was a child, then courts might say that the crash was the driver’s fault because he should have been looking out for unexpected behavior.

Did a California motorist hurt your child?

The medical costs associated with a child bicycle accident can be high. The pain and suffering, and any long-term disabilities, endured by the injured child must also be considered into damage calculations.

If your child was hurt by a California motorist while riding his bicycle, a personal injury lawyer will be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a potential personal injury claim for damages. He or she will also be able to advise on the types and amounts of damages the at-fault driver may be liable to pay.