Some child pedestrian accidents may be preventable. While there are cases of children darting out into traffic, some cases of pedestrian child injury or fatality stem from a motorist's negligence. When a serious or fatal injury is caused by someone else’s careless or reckless actions, you may be able to file a claim. To learn about the legal options that could be available, contact a personal injury lawyer inAtlanta.
A Closer Look at the Prevalence of Child Pedestrian Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children are one of the groups most at risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries as a pedestrian.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2010, there were 4,280 pedestrian fatalities. Of those, 293 involved children 15 years old and younger. Of these victims, 182 were boys. About one in every five children between 5 and 9 years old who was killed in a traffic crash was a pedestrian, according to NHTSA data.
Safe Kids Worldwide notes that 42 percent of child pedestrian accidents that result in death occur in the late afternoon and early evening hours between 4 p.m. and 7:59 p.m.
Additionally, there were 70,000 pedestrian accidents involving injuries in 2010. Of those, 16,000 were children 15 years and under. Again, boys made up the majority with 9,000 injuries, according to NHTSA.
A Driver’s Duty of Care to Children
Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car owes a duty of care to others. That means exercising reasonable care when operating a motor vehicle.
Speeding would be a violation of a driver’s duty of care. Running a red light or stop sign are a couple of other examples. And while this duty of care is owed to everyone, it is especially true for children.
Drivers are to exercise even greater care when children are around. Schools, parks, residential areas and playgrounds are just some examples of areas where a driver can and should expect the presence of children. Many of these areas use lower speed limits, such as around schools when children arrive and depart.
Even noting the presence of an ice cream truck should wave a warning flag to anyone operating a motor vehicle. Small children may be obscured by other objects in the area, so it is critical that drivers are especially careful when there is a reasonable expectation that children are present.
Other Areas Where Children May be Present
There are other circumstances in which a child pedestrian injury could be prevented, such as backing out of a driveway. Drivers should take extra steps to ensure there are no children – or other pedestrians – around the vehicle when exiting a driveway.
Crosswalks are another area where child pedestrian accidents can occur. Earlier this summer, efforts were made in Atlanta to bring awareness to the laws surrounding crosswalks, PEDS.org reported.
Two intersections where pedestrians may be at greater risk of being hit by a vehicle are Lee Street and Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, along with West Peachtree Street and North Avenue. Sting operations were set up in which drivers were ticketed for not yielding correctly or failing to yield at all to pedestrians.
Although all pedestrians face risks when drivers are negligent, children especially may be vulnerable. As a result, you could face significant medical bills and missed time from work while you take care of your child. Compensation may be available for bills and other damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability and more.
Consulting with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Atlanta
To review your legal rights after a child injury due to a negligent driver, contact a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta at the Law Offices of Shane Smith. We are a law firm that understands the devastation families experience after a child pedestrian accident, so call us today: 1-888-927-6955.