Liability In A Child Bicycle Accident

Posted: December 31st, 2012 | Author: Austin-Personal-Injury-Blog
Categories: Personal Injury

Automobile drivers are expected to implement reasonable care when on the road regarding those on bicycles. This level of care increases when children are involved. This is especially important to consider because a majority of bicycle accidents with motor vehicles involve children, who in turn are held to a much lower expectation of care while riding a bicycle.

In bike accident cases involving an automobile, the liability of the driver is dependent upon whether they caused the accident by being negligent. In other words, the driver is expected to exercise reasonable care when sharing the road with a cyclist. When that cyclist is a child, the amount reasonable care a driver must exercise increases.

An example of such a situation is that a driver should reasonably expect that a young child riding their bike might get frightened if a driver approaches too quickly, or that a child may cross into the road all of a sudden. If a driver knows, or expects that children may be present they are expected to pay closer attention, and be prepared to stop.

In many types of injury cases, defendants in bicycle accident lawsuits often claim that the bicyclist’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident. However, children on a bicycle are held to a lower standard, and although states may vary, there are general doctrines most jurisdictions follow.

Under the “tender years” doctrine, most hold that children up to four years old in many places are unable to exercise care for their own safety and the safety of others. For example, when there is a bicycle accident involving a child of 3 years of age, a driver cannot argue that the child contributed to the negligence that caused the accident.

Between the ages of four and fourteen, many states apply a presumption that the child is incapable of contributory negligence. A defendant can refute this assumption, but must demonstrate that under the situation in question, the child was capable of exercising care for their own safety.

At Zinda & Davis PLLC, we understand the laws that pertain to bicycle riders of all ages. We have successfully represented many cyclists over the years, obtaining excellent cash awards for them. It’s important for you to obtain professional legal counsel right away when you’ve been involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. Our legal team will go to work immediately gathering all the facts and information about the accident. We work aggressively on your behalf to assist you in getting the compensation you need for all medical bills, bike repair, lost wages and other miscellaneous expenses.