It’s a terrifying thought for any parent to imagine their child being hit by a car while riding their bicycle. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents involving children frequently occur when they unexpectedly ride out into the road. According to data from Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, around a hundred children are killed and 254,000 are injured in bicycle accidents every year.
In Kentucky, all bicyclists face a significant risk of severe injuries in accidents. However, children are even more vulnerable for various reasons. When a child is involved in such an unfortunate accident, it becomes crucial to determine who is responsible for their injuries.
Compassionate Legal Guidance From Kentucky Bicycle Accident Lawyers
At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, our team of experienced and compassionate Kentucky bicycle accident lawyers understands the challenges parents face when their child is injured, particularly in these types of accidents. We know how to handle these cases and ensure that your child’s physical and emotional well-being is prioritized. Don’t hesitate to seek the assistance you and your child need. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Vulnerability of Children in Kentucky Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents in Kentucky are unfortunate and costly, regardless of who is involved. One of the main factors contributing to the severity of these accidents is the high vulnerability to injuries. This vulnerability is especially pronounced in children, as they lack adequate protection when facing a moving vehicle.
When a child is involved in a bicycle accident, their vulnerability is even greater. To understand this vulnerability better, it’s important to consider the following factors:
- Children are more likely to get seriously hurt in bike accidents than adults. Because they’re smaller and weaker, they can get hurt more easily. They can hurt their heads, break their bones, get cuts and bruises, or hurt their internal organs.
- Most children don’t know as much as adults about the rules of the road and how to ride bikes safely. They don’t have a lot of experience, so they might not know what to do and that makes them more likely to get into accidents.
- Children sometimes have a hard time understanding how dangerous things can be. They might not be able to think quickly or understand what will happen if they make a bad choice. Because of this, they can make mistakes when they’re riding.
- A child’s body and brain are still developing, so it can be harder for them to ride bikes safely. They might have trouble balancing, coordinating their movements, or reacting fast enough when something unexpected happens.
- Wearing a helmet that fits well is really important for keeping kids safe from head injuries in bike accidents. But sometimes kids don’t want to wear helmets or they don’t have one. It’s important to tell kids and their parents why helmets are so important and make sure they have access to them.
- Parents need to watch over and take care of their kids when they’re riding bikes. They should teach them how to ride safely, go with them on rides, and keep an eye on them to make sure they’re doing the right things on the road.
The vulnerability of children in bicycle accidents in Kentucky can change depending on things like:
- How busy the roads are
- How well the roads are designed
- How strictly the traffic rules are enforced
- If there are any programs to promote bicycle safety
Still, it’s vital for both children and adults to understand what they need to do if they are involved in an accident.
How Can You Reduce Your Child’s Probability of Being in a Kentucky Bicycle Accident?
Obviously, the best way to reduce the risk of your (or any other) child being involved in a Kentucky bicycle accident is to do everything you can to prevent them. While it’s impossible to totally prevent these terrible accidents, there are steps you and your child can take to reduce the probability of them happening:
- Teach your child about traffic rules and how to ride safely. Show them how to use hand signals, obey signs, and be aware of their surroundings. They can also join a bike safety class.
- Make sure your child wears a helmet that fits well every time they ride. Explain why it’s important to protect their head. You should wear one too to set a good example.
- Check your child’s bike regularly to make sure it’s in good condition. Look at the tires, brakes, and gears to ensure they work properly. A bike that’s well-maintained is safer to ride.
- Give your child a bike that suits their age, size, and ability. Using a bike that’s too big or small can be hard to control and more likely to cause accidents. Adjust the bike to make sure it’s comfortable and safe for them.
- Improve visibility by attaching reflectors and lights to your child’s bike, especially when it’s dark outside. Dress them in bright or reflective clothing so drivers can see them better.
- Watch over young children when they ride their bikes. Go with them until they’re old enough and skilled enough to ride alone. Teach them how to ride safely and make sure they follow the rules.
- Help your child choose safe routes for their rides. Look for roads with less traffic and slower speeds. Encourage them to use bike lanes or paths when available. Avoid busy intersections and risky areas.
- Teach your child to communicate with drivers and other cyclists. They should use hand signals and make eye contact when needed. If they feel unsafe or see any dangers, encourage them to speak up and be assertive.
- Be a good example by practicing safe cycling habits yourself. Follow the traffic rules, wear a helmet, and ride defensively.
Liability in Kentucky Bicycle Accidents Involving Children
While unfortunate, having a child that’s involved in a Kentucky bicycle accident brings up questions of liability and who, ultimately, is responsible. When figuring out who is to blame for an accident that hurts a child that rode their bicycle into the road, it’s the person who was careless or not careful enough. For drivers, they can be at fault if they:
- Drive faster than the speed limit.
- Drive too fast for the weather.
- Don’t give the right of way to others.
- Ignore traffic signs or break the rules.
- Drive recklessly and dangerously.
- Drive drunk or under the influence.
- Were not paying attention while driving.
While it can be extremely difficult for drivers in this situation, there are potentially others that can be at fault. Overall, adults who are supposed to watch the child and keep them safe have the same responsibility: to make sure everyone, including drivers, stays safe. Legally, they can also be at fault for the accident if they:
- Didn’t pay close attention to the child.
- Tried to cross the road with the child outside of a marked crossing area.
- Didn’t follow the signals or signs for crossing.
- Were distracted by texting or something else.
- Were riding a bicycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Legally, this is called “comparative negligence.” It means that the amount of fault the injured person had in the accident is taken into account when deciding how much they can get from a claim. In cases where a child is hurt, the person responsible for them at the time of the accident takes on some of the fault.
With liability established, our team of Kentucky bicycle accident lawyers can assist you in filing a claim for damages on behalf of your child. These claims let you pursue compensation from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident to pay for different things, like:
- Medical expenses, both current and future
- If the injury caused your child to go through a permanent change in appearance or disability.
- The pain and suffering your child went through because of the accident.
- If the injury took away your child’s ability to enjoy their life.
- If the injury resulted in death, the costs of the funeral and burial, as well as other damages.
It’s important to act quickly when you or your child gets hurt in a bicycle accident in Kentucky. This can help with things like paying the medical bills and other costs right away, and it can also help your child recover better in the long run.
Get the Help You Need From Kentucky Bicycle Accident Lawyers
At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, our team of Kentucky bicycle accident lawyers has lots of experience and is dedicated to helping you and your child get the right treatment and compensation for your case. It doesn’t matter what caused the accident – we can help you and your child focus on getting better. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation, contact us today.