Child Pedestrian Accidents
Children who are injured as pedestrians through no fault of their own are entitled to compensation for their damages. A litigation guardian will need to bring the claim on the child’s behalf. This is because people under the age of 19 cannot pursue a legal claim on their own.
Pedestrian accidents involving children
Children are particularly vulnerable as pedestrians. They are smaller in size and can be unpredictable in nature. Motorists may not anticipate a child running out into the road, or simply may not see them – especially if it is dark outside.
Accidents also frequently happen near schools, and while children are boarding or exiting a school bus. Motorists should slow down in these areas and remain vigilant, as there is a high chance that a child will be crossing the street.
Unfortunately, however, this does not always happen. The result is that a child is struck by a moving vehicle at a crosswalk, intersection or parking lot. Other times, a child is injured while playing in the street or on the sidewalk.
Child pedestrian accident injuries
Pedestrians have no protection against an oncoming vehicle. The consequences of such accidents are likely to be severe, especially if a child is involved. Common injuries include fractures, head and spinal injuries, and internal organ damage.
These accidents are always upsetting, and will be all the more so if a child is harmed. Their injuries can cause serious physical and psychological trauma. Sometimes, this will impact a child’s life in the long-term, affecting their development and future career opportunities.
That is why it is so important for a child to secure the maximum sum of compensation possible. A claim cannot undo the accident, but it can provide them with the money needed to pay for the cost of their care and rehabilitation.
Claims involving minors
However, claims involving minors are slightly different to claims involving adults. This is because people under the age of 19 cannot bring legal action in their own right. Either, they must wait until their 19th birthday. Or, a litigation guardian must make a claim on their behalf.
Most of the time, it is better to start the claim sooner, rather than later. This means that a parent, guardian or government body (called the Public Guardian and Trustee Office) must act on behalf of the injured child.
Once a compensation settlement has been agreed, it must be approved by the Public Guardian and Trustee Office. It will be released to the child when he/she turns 19, although funds can be accessed before this time to cover certain costs. If mental capacity is an issue, the money can remain in a trust.
Compensation for child pedestrian accidents
Compensation is intended to reflect the pain and suffering that has been caused, and to recover the past and future losses incurred by the child and their family. This can be far-reaching in scope, and can include the cost of care provided either by a professional or a family member.
If a child has been hit by a vehicle in British Columbia, he/she may also be entitled to claim Part 7 benefits – also known as ‘no-fault benefits’. This is provided in addition to the compensation awarded in a personal injury claim. However, there are shorter time limits at play, and you must tell ICBC about the accident within 30 days.
It is difficult to say exactly how much compensation will be awarded. To give you an idea, we recently represented a 12-year-old girl who was struck by a car while she was walking to school. She suffered injuries to her hip and leg, as well as psychological trauma. Liability was accepted and we reached a settlement of $72,000.
Contact our Vancouver personal injury lawyers
At John Mickelson Law Corporation, we understand just how upsetting it is when a child is injured. We are here to ensure everyone has proper access to justice – including minors and unborn children.
Liability is often contested in child pedestrian accidents. The driver may say that the child was partly at fault for running into the road, for example. We will argue your child’s case, getting him/her the maximum sum of compensation. Even if contributory negligence is a factor, compensation can still be obtained.Go back to Blog