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Who Is at Fault If a Child on a Bike Rides into the Road and Is Hit in California?

Drivers are often held responsible when a tragic bicycle accident involves a child. Motorists are supposed to slow down when they see a child on a bike and they must show extra caution in any area where a child is expected to be.

Maison Law represents injured child bicycle accident victims and their parents after a collision caused by a careless driver. Our California bicycle accident lawyers offer a free case consultation to all victims and their families. It’s a no-obligation opportunity to find out what young victims will need in support from a car insurance company and how to hold insurers fully responsible.

Who Is Responsible After a California Bicycle Accident Involving a Child?

Children and their families should be able to ride bikes in neighborhoods and around parks without fear of a dangerous impact with a car. Unfortunately, careless and reckless drivers often travel too fast to avoid a dangerous situation when a child on a bike is nearby. They can also be staring at a cell phone and not watching the road ahead.

California drivers are legally required to show a “duty of care” around all cyclists. This means slowing down at first sight of someone on a bike and showing extreme caution until they have safely passed a rider. The care that must be shown is even greater when children are spotted on bikes and even when drivers don’t see children but are in an area where children are known to be at play.

Determining Fault after a Child Bicycle Accident

Most of the responsibility for avoiding accidents falls on the motorist because a young child isn’t considered mature enough to act reasonably in such a dangerous situation.

An investigator or an insurance adjuster would be looking at several factors when deciding who should take the blame in a devastating child bicycle accident:

  • The child’s age and experience.
  • Was the child hidden by an obstruction?
  • The location of the accident. Was it in an area where the driver should have reasonably assumed that children were around? This would be an area like a playground, a park, or a school zone.
  • Was the driver focused on the road properly? Was the driver distracted?
  • Was the driver breaking other traffic laws like speeding or driving while impaired?
  • Did the driver try to avoid the accident by slamming on the brakes or steering away from the young rider?

Not all drivers are found at fault after a bicycle collision involving a child, but motorists have an elevated responsibility when children are nearby. Investigators will take that into consideration when deciding who should be liable for the consequences.

If you feel a driver is being excused for negligent driving, contact a California bicycle accident lawyer and discuss what happened. A skilled lawyer ensures that your child receives the support needed to make a full recovery.

Comparative Liability in a California Child Bicycle Accident

In some child bicycle accident cases, California’s concept of comparative liability will come into play. This means that a driver can be charged with only a percentage of fault in a collision involving a child cyclist. It would leave the driver’s car insurance provider responsible for a portion of the child’s medical bills and other hardships.

A driver could be assigned 50% of the liability for not slowing down near a park where children were known to ride bikes. The child may have suddenly rolled into the middle of the street, but had the driver been traveling at a slower speed perhaps an impact could have been prevented.

When a settlement or a judgment amount was decided, the driver’s insurance company would only be responsible for paying 50% of the award, or whatever percentage of fault that was assigned. This can still mean that children and their families receive substantial compensation to help with their hardships after a bicycle accident.

A California child bicycle accident lawyer would make sure the driver was assigned as much blame as possible and that an auto insurance company was responsible for as much of the recovery costs for the child as possible. If in truth, the driver should get 100% of the blame, your Maison Law lawyer would fight back to make sure the driver wasn’t let off the hook for careless behavior.

Child Bicycle Accident Injuries and Additional Insurance Compensation

In an accident claim, a lawyer seeks for compensation for all medical bills. The time parents miss at work while caring for an injured child might also be compensated. The emotional trauma and pain endured in a crash and during recovery also factors into the amount of a child bicycle accident settlement check.

But a skilled California child bicycle accident attorney will know that the compensation shouldn’t end there. Children are still maturing and any major accident can have a big impact on their future development.

A bicycle collision injury may heal, but that same injury may flare up in the child’s teen years and cause growth complications. The child could need additional surgery or physical therapy years later. Your lawyer would be seeking additional support to cover any future medical problems the child may have.

Seeking Support After a California Child Bicycle Accident

Children will need additional support as they recover from a careless driver’s mistake and insurance companies shouldn’t be allowed to wiggle out of taking full responsibility for a bicycle accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you figure out what your child will need to recover and then fight to get the maximum in compensation available for a young victim.

Contact a California bicycle accident lawyer with Maison Law of California for a free, no-obligation consultation. It’s a no-risk way to find out what your child’s bicycle accident injury is worth and what you should demand from an insurance company for the benefit of your child.


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