Bicycle accidents are pretty common in big cities throughout Pennsylvania with the increase of cyclist commuters. However, children are still involved in the majority of bicycle accidents every year. Drivers have an increased responsibility to exercise a duty of care while driving near a child on a bicycle. However, many children are often too young or inexperienced at cycling to avoid being involved in an accident. When children are involved in bicycle accidents in Pennsylvania, they have an increased risk of dying or suffering from life-altering injuries.
Understanding the Causes of Fatal Child Bicycle Accidents in Pennsylvania
Most of the time, a child bicycle accident is the result of a negligent driver who did not exercise the necessary duty of care to drive carefully next to the child. In these cases, the driver’s liability will depend on if he or she was negligent and if the driver’s negligence actually caused the accident. Many times, this negligence is attributed to a hit-and-run accident, where the driver will hit the child bicyclist and flee from the scene.
Drivers should exercise a reasonable increase in care if they are expected to have known that children would be near them. If a driver sees children or drives through a neighborhood with children or a school zone, he or she should not be speeding or driving distracted. Specifically, these “increased care” areas include schools, parks, streets with school bus stops, residential neighborhoods, trailer parks and any other areas where someone could expect children to be present.
As drivers are held to a high standard when children are present, children riding on bicycles are often held to a lower standard. In Pennsylvania, due to a parent-child relationship, many legal claims involving an accident with injuries actually belong to the child’s parents. However, when it comes to negligence, most jurisdictions follow the “tender years” doctrine, which states that very young children are not capable of being negligent because they cannot exercise for their own safety or that of others.
Should I Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney After a Child Bicycle Accident?
Adam E. Grutzmacher is involved in a case regarding a fatal hit and run child bicycle accident that occurred in Pennsylvania a few months ago. If you would like more information about his case or other information, visit Adam E. Grutzmacher’s website.