Due to the difference in force between bicycles and cars, bike accidents can be highly impactful and cause severe injury to the bicyclist. However, children may endure even worse injuries because of their small frames. For this reason, motorists must hold a greater responsibility when they are driving around areas where child bike riders are present.
If your child was involved in a bicycle accident, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the party at-fault for damages. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our skilled Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys have over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. With our track record of winning more than 5,000 personal injury cases, we are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your case.
California’s Comparative Liability
California is a fault state, meaning that when an accident happens, someone must be found at-fault for causing it. California is also a comparative liability state, meaning that more than one party involved can be found liable for damages and injuries. The weight of liability for each party is determined by the level of negligence they contributed to the collision.
Motorists and bicyclists have a duty of care to avoid harming anyone on the road. If they fail to use reasonable care and cause an accident, then the motorist or bicyclist is held liable to those injured from the crash. However, with child bike riders, they might not be aware of the rules of the road and perform actions that may put them in danger. For this reason, motorists and bicyclists are expected to provide a greater duty of care when they are in the presence of children.
Driver’s Increased Duty of Care for Children
A driver must increase their duty of care when they are around children. This is primarily why school zone speed limits and rules exist. However, even when drivers are not passing by places that have safety signs for children, they are still expected to be extra cautious in locations where children may be seen, such as parks, playgrounds, and neighborhoods. They need to be prepared at any moment for a child to pop into the road by surprise.
Children still have a lot to learn about the world, especially when it comes to the rules of the road. They might commit negligent actions while bike riding or playing out in the street, but they simply may not know better or be aware of the dangers they are putting themselves in. However, since they are children, both motorists and bicyclists must pay them a higher duty of care.
Child Bike Helmet Laws
In California, minors are lawfully required to wear a helmet while riding their bicycles. It is not mandatory for adults to wear their helmets, however, it is encouraged. Serious injuries to the head or brain can be less likely if a bicyclist is wearing a helmet. If a child is involved in a bicycle accident without wearing a helmet and sustains a serious head injury, it could affect the level of liability for the driver. The child’s family may face a lesser amount of compensation for damages and/or injuries caused by the accident.
What to Do if a Child Bicyclist Gets Hit by a Car
Need a Bike Accident Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help
If you have sustained injuries as a result of a bicycle accident, you have the right to hold the guilty party accountable. Our skilled bicycle accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering from your injury.