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What is different about child bicycle accidents?

Children are some of the most avid users and enjoyers of bicycles in Pennsylvania, and for that reason, they tend to be involved in most of the bicycle versus car accidents. When a bicycle versus car accident involves a child cyclist, though, the law is a little bit different than when it involves an adult cyclist. The biggest difference is the fact that drivers owe an increased duty of care when children are present on bicycles around them.

In most car accidents that involve bicycles, the liability of the driver is dependent on whether the driver was negligent. It is also dependent on whether the negligence was a contributing factor in the collision. If a driver fails to exercise a reasonable amount of care to avoid accidents and injuring other person the roadway, he or she might be negligent. When children are present, the level of care the diver owes is even more. Also, in terms of the role of child bicyclists, the level of carefulness they are expected to show is less than that of adult bicyclists.

Courts will often expect drivers to be aware that if a child is present, the child might suddenly dart into the roadway and/or get frightened if a car is approaching too quickly. These are often referred to as dart-out accidents. Courts also expect drivers to be aware that children might be present in neighborhoods and around schools, so they should exercise more care to look out for them and drive with more caution in these areas. What all this boils down to is the fact that when children are involved in bicycle accidents with motor vehicles, there is a much higher likelihood that the driver will be faulted and liable for the crash.

If your child has been hurt in a bicycle accident that involved a motor vehicle, you may want to seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney to evaluate the liability of the driver who caused the accident. If your child was seriously injured and required hospital care and other medical services, your child may be entitled to compensation to pay for the doctor's bills associated with his or her recovery.

Source: FindLaw, "Child bicycle accident liability" accessed Jan. 22, 2015

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