Bicycle Accidents Involving Children
Motor Vehicle Collision Attorneys Assisting Victims in Schaumburg and Wheaton
Learning how to ride a bike can be a rite of passage for a child. Children are often seen riding bikes in residential neighborhoods and even traveling short distances on them. In a collision between a cyclist and motorist, however, a cyclist of any age does not stand much of a chance in terms of avoiding serious injuries. If your child has suffered harm or a tragic death in a bicycle accident, we can help. At Therman Law Offices, our Wheaton and Schaumburg bicycle accident lawyers can help you seek the compensation that you deserve for your harm. We understand how the law applies to bicycle accidents involving children and can put our knowledge to use in your case.
Bringing a Claim Based on a Bicycle Accident Involving a Child
Injuries and deaths resulting from bicycle accidents are more common than you may think. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 900 bicyclists were killed, and there were an estimated 494,000 emergency department visits due to bicycle-related injuries in 2013. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that the number of bicyclists killed in 2015 rose by 12.2 percent from the previous year.
The CDC also reports that children (5-14 years old) and adolescents (15-19 years old) have the highest rate of non-fatal bicycle-related injuries, accounting for more than one-third of all bicycle-related injuries seen in emergency departments across the country. While many children sustain minor injuries from falling off their bikes or colliding with something, the unfortunate reality is that some children sustain severe injuries when a car or another vehicle hits their bicycle. The NHTSA found that, in 2010, children 14 years of age or younger accounted for 18 percent of bicyclists involved in motor vehicle crashes, resulting in over 9,000 injuries and 55 fatalities.
In many cases, a driver’s lack of attention is the cause of a bicycle accident. In other cases, an accident may be a result of a defective road design or poor maintenance. When a vehicle hits a child on a bicycle, liability is not always immediately apparent. If an inattentive driver caused the bicycle accident, that driver would likely be liable. If a pothole caused the bicycle accident, on the other hand, the government responsible for maintaining the road may be liable, although the government enjoys some immunity and can only be sued through certain procedures and in certain situations.
Regardless of the circumstances, plaintiffs typically need to show that the defendant was negligent in order to recover any compensation from the at-fault party. Negligence is a failure to use reasonable care in your actions or omissions. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances. To establish negligence, the plaintiff must prove the following:
- The child on the bicycle was owed a duty of care by the defendant;
- The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the child; and
- The defendant’s breach was a direct cause of the accident and the child’s resulting harm.
If your child has suffered injuries, and you successfully establish that the defendant was negligent, you may be able to recover a variety of damages, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and any other losses stemming from the accident. If you have lost a child in a bicycle accident, you may be able to pursue wrongful death damages, such as funeral and burial costs, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and more.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Wheaton or Schaumburg
While bicycle riding is a source of joy and exercise for children, it can also be dangerous. Bicycle accidents in Illinois often result in serious injuries. At Therman Law Offices, our seasoned injury lawyers provide skilled and client-focused representation at every step of the way. We understand that being a parent of an injured child is a serious burden, and we are committed to handling your case with the utmost compassion. Our attorneys represent families in cities such as Wheaton, Schaumburg, Norwood Park, Edison Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Rosemont, Elk Grove Village, and Mt. Prospect. To learn more about your legal rights and options after a bicycle accident involving your child, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.