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Who’s at Fault When A Child Gets into A Bike Accident?

Specialized Attorney for Child Bicycle Accidents in Los Angeles

COVID-19 has generated a spike in biking, as many continue finding new ways to navigate through the pandemic. It may have been to avoid public transportation or partake in a fun activity to safely get out of the house. Cycling is a great pastime for anyone and everyone. Though, unlike adults, kids may confront unique risks and challenges. Most learn how to pedal, steer and brake starting around four years old. It will take ample time for children to learn how to navigate safely or process what to do if an accident were to happen. As a parent or caretaker when your child gets hurt it can be devastating. At Grey Law, you can count on our personal injury attorney in Los Angeles to help you through the legal process and file a lawsuit.

What Does Liability Mean?

Liability is when a person, company, or entity owes the plaintiff compensation for damages caused. It normally occurs for failed obligations or failure to act. For example, if a child is riding alongside a sidewalk, and a distracted driver swerves and rear-ends the back of the bike, the driver would be at fault. Why? They failed to adhere to safe driving conditions. Liabilities are settled over time, normally with legal guidance from an experienced attorney for cyclist accidents.

Bike accidents have been a serious and frequent risk for young children when they ride through busy streets. Unfortunately, more than 100 children die annually, with more than 200,000 experiencing bike-related accidents according to Stanford Children’s Health. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration advises parents to avoid letting children ride on the street until 10-years of age, or until they can make decisions to stay safe during immediate and dangerous situations. Though there are guidelines in place, they don’t carry the same weight as laws do and cannot be enforced.

Drivers’ Have a Responsibility to Look Out for Children

When a driver accidentally crashes into a young cyclist the consequences can be severe. Upon seeing a child, the driver must exercise extra precautions and care. Everyone on the road has a responsibility to look out for them. In fact, drivers should assume the unexpected from a child, such as abruptly riding in the street without warning and not looking both ways before riding through an intersection. This level of caution is referred to as “unusual care.” In school zones, residential neighborhoods, or places normally populated with smaller children, extra attention should be paid while driving. Most accidents can be prevented. Motorists should consider the following actions, to lower the risks:

  • Try to avoid passing riders until it is safe to do so. There should be at least 3 feet between the vehicle and bike.
  •  Avoid using headlights on high beams when you’re in close proximity to an oncoming cyclist.
  • Similar to yielding for pedestrians, yield for riders traveling in bike lanes. Make sure they pass before making a turn at an intersection.
  • Always look for oncoming riders before opening the car door.

Who Is at Fault When the Child Is Responsible?

Any parent or legal guardian that learned how to ride a bike when they were a child is familiar with falling off, scraping their knee, or perhaps riding into something during the first few tries. As experienced bike accident lawyers, we understand it will take time for your child to get the hang of it. In the meantime, we can help you learn about what to expect.

You should be prepared to take the fall. Not all drivers are deemed negligent when a bike crash happens. The law tends to be more lenient with kids, especially if they sustained injuries until a certain point. The plaintiff (guardian) must prove the defendant (driver) saw the child, drove carelessly, and could have prevented the accident. However, if it was proven that the adult driver was not negligent, it’s not the child that will be responsible for paying for damages. The parent or legal guardian will carry the punishment on his or her behalf.

According to federal law and California law, a child cannot be negligent in a bike accident. Starting from ages three or four years old, a child is not capable of fully understanding negligence and how to follow strict road laws. This concept is referred to as the “tender years” doctrine. An attorney for child bike accident injuries in Los Angeles may apply this to your child’s bike accident case to refute claims that the driver should not be found negligent.

Though, parents of children between the ages of 14 years to 18 years can be held responsible for their actions according to this doctrine. The best way to prevent your young ones, or older kids from getting hurt is to establish strict rules about where, when, and how they can ride their bikes.

Retain a Bike Injury Attorney As Soon As Possible

When a biking accident happens involving a child, it can become life-threatening immediately depending on the severity of the crash. As a parent, guardian, or opposing driver it can be an overwhelming experience. If your child was hurt while riding, you should seek legal counsel for the best chance at obtaining compensation. If you need a lawyer for sudden bike injuries, reach out to us to schedule a consultation.

About Grey Law

“When it comes to getting you more, I won’t settle for less.” – David Grey

When you or a loved one are injured due to negligence, carelessness, or wrongful acts of another person, David Grey is ready to help. Seeking compensation or negotiating with insurance companies can be stressful, especially while recovering. Let us do that for you. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are well-versed in several practice areas:

Why do you need a lawyer for accident compensation? With thousands of lawyers in California, we understand it can be difficult to choose the right legal representation. We have 35+ years of experience and secured millions for our clients. From the time you retain our firm, we build your case. For a free case evaluation and consultation, reach out to us at (323) 857-9500 or email

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