Child Cyclists Accident Lawyers in Austin
Austin Child cyclists have the same right to the road as motorists- and yet are often more vulnerable on the road. With little protection and visibility, cyclists can be hit at high speeds. Collisions with a bike and motor vehicle can result in devastating damage. Often times, the driver of the car is to blame- however, at other times the negligence of a cyclist can contribute to an accident. Driver negligence can include speeding, running a stop sign or drifting into the bike lane. Negligence by the cyclist can include riding the wrong way, running a stop sign, or turning abruptly into traffic.
Forty-five percent of bicycle-car collisions occur at an intersection. Ways that cyclists can minimize the risk of a crash include increasing their visibility, being on the lookout and riding defensively. The easiest way to determine liability is by answering, who had the right of way?
When there are no traffic signals at an intersection, the vehicle that arrives first can proceed forward first. When signals are present, drivers and cyclists should obey these. If a signal sensor does not detect the presence of a cyclist, the cyclist can position his/her bicyclist closer to the sensors, cross at the crosswalk, or wait until it is safe to cross against the light. When a cyclist rides on the road without looking, fails to wear a helmet, or cycles at night without lights, he/she is partly liable for any accident that occurs.
Bicycle accident claims are treated the same way as other road traffic accident claims. If you can prove that you sustained an injury as the result of another person’s negligence, you could have a lawsuit on your hands. Factors such as the severity of your injuries, how permanent their nature and what impact the accident has had on your life will determine how much your claim could be worth.
Greater Degree of Care Around Children
If the accident involved a child, the rules might change, however. Drivers are expected to exercise a greater degree of caution around children and children aren’t expected to fully understand yielding or the rules of the road. For example, a child cyclist may suddenly cross into a roadway or not fully understand traffic laws. Drivers should be aware that when they are around schools, parks and neighborhoods children are more likely to be around and as a result, they should exercise more caution. Children on bicycles are often held to a lower standard and drivers are held to a higher standard. Many states believe that young children are incapable of contributory negligence, since they are too young to understand exercising care for their safety and the safety of others.
In 2001, a 66-year-old Illinois woman brought a lawsuit against the family of a five year old boy, who struck her from behind, while riding a bicycle. The woman alleged that the boy was negligent in the way he rode his bike, the parents had failed to instruct him how to properly ride his bike and his parents had failed to supervise him as he rode his bike. The court upheld the “tender years doctrine,” stating, “…a child under the age of seven is incapable of recognizing and appreciating risk and is therefore deemed incapable of negligence as a matter of law. The child’s immaturity limits his liability regardless of whether, as a litigant, he is the plaintiff or the defendant.”
If you need help determining who was responsible for the accident you were involved in or whether your child can be held responsible after a bicycle collision, contact Zinda Law Group today! Our Personal Injury Attorneys have the answers you are looking for and would be happy to help you in whatever way we can.