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Who is responsible when a child is hurt in a bicycle accident?

In Texas and elsewhere, it is not uncommon to see children riding their bicycles when the weather is nice. Many drivers have had close calls with nearly hitting children who are riding on or near streets. Sadly, numerous children have been struck by automobiles and have been hurt or lost their lives as a result. When a bicycle accident involving a child does occur, who is responsible?

Parents and drivers both want to know who may be considered at fault if a child on a bicycle is hit by a car. The truth is, the facts surrounding such an event really do matter, as contributory negligence may be questioned. When it comes to driving near children on bicycles, drivers are held to a bit of a higher standard. They have what is called an increased duty of care when driving in areas in which children are present. Failing to exercise reasonable care could result in a driver being held liable for any damages suffered by the child or his or her family.

A driver may claim contributory negligence, stating a child failed to look or take appropriate precautions, which led to the accident. However, depending on the child's age, he or she may not be old enough to be held responsible for the incident. Every state has different laws regarding contributory negligence in such cases.

If a child has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident, his or her parents or guardians may be entitled to take legal actions against the driver deemed responsible. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist those ready to take such actions by investigating and reviewing their cases and submitting claims in court if appropriate. Cases that proceed to litigation and are successfully handled may be awarded monetary judgments by a Texas civil court.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Bicycle Accident Liability", Accessed on Jan. 25, 2016

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