Bicycle Accidents- Children
According to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 630 deaths of bicycle riders as a result of accidents in 2009. In addition to the fatalities, another 51,000 bicycle riders were injured. Unfortunately, many of those who suffer injuries are children. In fact, 17 percent of bicycle fatalities involved kids aged 14 or younger, while children aged 15 and under account for 60 percent of all trips to the emergency room arising from bicycle injuries.
When bicycle accidents occur, children can suffer injuries that become very expensive to treat or, in the case of a death, families can suffer the loss of a loved one. Massachusetts law allows for the injured victims or family members to seek compensation for their losses if someone else was responsible for the accident, so it is essential to determine who is at fault.
In many cases, a driver's lack of attention or the faulty design or maintenance of roadways contributes to causing the bike accident and a claim can be made against the other driver or the entity responsible for maintaining the road. An experienced Boston bicycle injury lawyer can help you to determine if anyone should be held responsible for the bicycle accident involving a child and can help you to prove your case. Contact the Law Firm of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC to learn more about how our experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyers can help.Massachusetts Laws on Bicycle Accidents and Children
When a child is involved in a bicycle accident, the key question is: what was the cause of the accident? If the accident was caused by potholes, road neglect or poor maintenance or road design, then the government or private entity responsible for maintaining the road can be required to pay compensation through a personal injury claim or tort lawsuit. However, the government enjoys limited protection from lawsuits (governmental immunity) so your lawyer will have to help you to determine whether your case meets the specific criteria necessary for suing the government.
If the bicycle accident was caused by a negligent driver who was inattentive or who did not obey the rules of the road or bike safety laws, then the driver may be held responsible. In these cases, the bicycle rider may be required to recover from his own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance or from the PIP protection of someone in his or her household if the injuries are not serious or if the medical bills are low. Once there are broken bones, disfigurement or medical costs in excess of $2,000, however, the driver who caused the accident can be required to pay damages, including pain and suffering.
In some cases, either the driver or the person responsible for road maintenance may argue that the child was responsible, or partially responsible, for causing the accident. In these cases, it will be important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you in proving fault. Even when the child is partially responsible for causing the bike accident, the other driver or government may still be considered liable for a portion of the damages equal to the percent of responsibility he bears for the accident. This means you should never assume that recovery is impossible even if your child wasn't being 100 percent careful when on the bike.
To learn more about how a Boston bicycle accident lawyer can help you after your child was involved in a bike accident, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 367-2900 or using our online form. Remember your consultation is always free.