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What happens if my child is hit while biking to school?

It is important to give our children more freedom as they age. One common way parents give their children this freedom is letting them ride their bikes to school. With watches and phones that we can use to help track them, we can double check that they get to school and check on them if they get distracted along the way.

But what if they were not the distracted person? What if a driver was checking their phone or otherwise distracted and crashed into the child?

This tragic scenario is not uncommon. Bicycle accidents injure over 250,000 children and kill an additional 100 every single year. In cases like the one discussed above, where the driver is likely responsible for the accident, the parent can use the law to hold that driver accountable for their role in the crash.

How does the law work in a parent’s favor in these cases?

There are four things a parent must show to build a case against a driver in these situations. First, the parents will need to show the court that the driver had a duty to protect the child. This is generally automatic as state law requires drivers to operate their vehicles with care. Next, the parents must show the court that the driver violated that duty. The presence of an accident is likely evidence that the driver was not careful.

The last two things the parent must show are that there was an injury, and the injury was the result of the accident. Medical records and expert testimony can help to establish these two elements.

Why should a parent pursue a case in these types of situations?

There are three benefits:

  • Funds. Medical treatment and rehabilitation after an accident can quickly get expensive. It makes sense for the person responsible for the accident to pay those bills.
  • An example for your children. It is important to hold those that wrong us accountable for their actions. This is a way our legal system has developed for us to hold the guilty party accountable in these situations. We can model for our children how we use the system to find a resolution.
  • Safer communities. The case would do more than just hold that driver accountable; it would deter them and others from making the same mistake — ultimately making our community a safer place for our children.

This may all seem like too much to take on when we are helping our child heal from an accident. Know that you do not have to go through this alone. Working with legal counsel to advocate for your interests will allow you to focus on the health of your child.

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