Many bike accidents that involve motor vehicles result in injuries to children. There are some significant differences in the responsibilities and duties of care regarding children in personal injury cases as opposed to adults.
First, all adult drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others when they are driving, including the safety of other drivers and their passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. When it comes to children, however, and especially very young children, drivers are held to a heightened standard of care. The reason behind this increased standard of care is the fact that most young children cannot appreciate the risk of harm or act as quickly and appropriately as an adult in an emergency or dangerous situation.
Likewise, children have decreased duties or responsibilities when it comes to accidents. In most bicycle accident cases, liability, or financial responsibility, for the costs of injuries and other damages sustained by a bicyclist are based on negligence. This concept involves both the degree to which the driver breached the reasonable duty of care for the safety of others and the degree to which the breach of duty directly caused injuries to the bicyclist.
In some cases, adult bicyclists may be at least partially liable for accidents that cause them injuries, such as if they violated a traffic law or otherwise failed to exercise care in riding their bicycles in traffic. However, children are not held to the same standard of behavior, so it is highly unlikely that a small child would be held partially liable in a bicycle accident case involving injuries.
For example, while it would be negligent of an adult to suddenly run out into the street into oncoming vehicles, it is not necessarily negligent for a child to do so. As a driver, you must expect the possibility, or even the probability, that children who are playing near a street might suddenly chase a ball or otherwise run into the street, even when vehicles are present. When you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you need an attorney who knows bike laws and can stand up for your interests from the outset of your personal injury claim. It is our goal to evaluate the facts, assess your claim, explore your options, and help you build the strongest claim for compensation possible against those who are responsible for the accident that led to your injuries. Do not hesitate to contact Bonnici Law Group at 619-259-5199 today and set up an appointment to speak with us soon.