Are Child Pedestrian Accident Claims Handled Differently?
On any given day in California, you may drive by children playing outside, riding bicycles, or walking to school with friends. You do everything you can to teach your children about pedestrian safety, but what happens if your child is unexpectedly involved in a pedestrian accident? Read on to learn how to protect your child’s rights if a negligent driver has caused them harm.
The Prevalence of Pedestrian Accidents Among Children
Sadly, pedestrian accidents are not uncommon in the U.S., and the statistics speak for themselves. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017, one in every five children under 15 involved in traffic crashes were pedestrians. SafeKids.org also reported that in 2019:
- 369 children died in pedestrian accidents, and 15,011 children were injured.
- Children between 12 and 19 were at a 3x more significant risk of being killed in a pedestrian accident than their younger counterparts.
- Male children had the highest pedestrian death rate at 64%, compared to female children at 39%.
- The highest number of pedestrian deaths among children occurred in the following months:
- October (41 deaths)
- March (35 deaths)
- July (35 deaths)
- September (32 deaths)
How to Proceed with A Child Pedestrian Accident Claim
Two of the most common ways children are involved in a pedestrian accident are walking to and from school or playing with friends. Suppose a child is hit by a negligent driver (meaning that they did not use reasonable care when operating their vehicle). In that case, the driver can be held liable for civil damages that may include the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Physical pain
- Emotional distress
Specifically, California Civil Jury Instruction 412 – Duty of Care Owed Children states:
“An adult must anticipate the ordinary behavior of children. An adult must be more careful when dealing with children than with other adults.”
Minors are not held to the same standard of care as adults. California Civil Jury Instruction 402 – Standard of Care for Minors states:
“Children are not held to the same standards of behavior as adults. A child is required to use the amount of care that a reasonably careful child of the same age, intelligence, knowledge, and experience would use in that same situation.”
Pedestrian accidents involving children are complex. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side can help answer all your questions, ease your concerns and ensure the best possible outcome.
Protecting Your Child’s Rights After a Pedestrian Accident
Child pedestrian accidents are particularly devastating — especially when severe injuries result. If your child was injured in a pedestrian accident due to a negligent driver, we are ready to help you hold the liable parties accountable for their negligent actions. When you are unsure where to turn for help, know that Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP is here for you. We’re ready to protect your child’s rights when they’ve suffered harm.