Any pedestrian accident can cause the victim to be injured. However, a child who is struck by a car or truck can suffer long-term injuries or death. In addition, due to their smaller size, they are more likely than an adult to be the victim of these preventable collisions in California.
Did a negligent driver cause your child to suffer injuries while they were walking? It can be devasting to see your child experience the terror of the accident, have serious injuries, and endure pain and emotional distress.
You need a skilled lawyer who understands the special procedures that you will need to follow when settling your claim with the negligent motorist’s insurance company. This will give you the peace of mind that your child will receive what they deserve and the time you need to help them recover from their injuries.
Common Reasons Children Are Hurt in Pedestrian Accidents
A child pedestrian collision can happen at any time and place. However, they often occur during the evening hours when they are less visible to drivers and on weekends when they are outside walking more. School crosswalks, driveways, a child’s neighborhood, and parking lots are common locations where children are struck while walking.
There are many negligent driving practices that result in pedestrian accidents. Common reasons drivers cause these collisions with children include:
- Distracted driving practices, like talking on a cellphone, texting, and looking at a GPS
- Backing up in a driveaway or parking lot without looking for less visible children
- Failing to stop for a school bus picking up or dropping off students
- Failing to yield at traffic lights, stop signs, and school crossings
Liability in Pedestrian Accidents
Motorists have a duty to be safe drivers when they are near any pedestrian. In California, this duty of care is even greater when the pedestrian is a child. This is due to the fact that children are much less likely to understand the dangers of their actions and to be able to avoid hazards like nearby cars on the road.
Under California’s pure comparative negligence laws, a negligent pedestrian’s right to compensation for their injuries would be reduced by their percentage of fault in causing their crash. However, children are held to a lower standard of care for their actions than adults because of their reduced knowledge and experience.
This means that a child may not be found partially at fault for causing a pedestrian accident when an adult pedestrian in the same situation would have been found to be in part to blame. In addition, young children who are under five years old cannot legally be found negligent in our state.
Compensation a Child Can Recover in a Pedestrian Collision
Under California law, negligent drivers are responsible for fully compensating the victim of a pedestrian accident. If your child suffered injuries and can prove they were caused by a motorist’s negligence, they can recover these damages:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Lost earning capacity if their injuries prevent them from working or limit the types of jobs that they can do
- Property damages
- Past and future pain and suffering
Special Procedures You Must Follow When Settling Your Child’s Claim
If you must file a claim for your child with the negligent driver’s insurance company for compensation for their injuries, you will need to follow special rules when settling their claim. You will need to obtain court approval of the settlement. There are separate procedures that must be complied with when a case settled out of court or after a lawsuit is filed.
In addition, the court will set rules on where your child’s settlement proceeds can be held and when you are permitted to spend the money on their behalf before they turn 18 years old. In many cases, you would need to seek court permission before withdrawing any money from your child’s account.
Was your child injured in a pedestrian collision? You need the help of an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to prove the driver’s liability and to fight with their insurance company for the compensation your child deserves. To learn how I can help, call my San Diego office or start a live chat to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.