Based on data from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, bicycle accidents send 25 children per hour to an emergency room.
In Northern California, people who ride bicycles can face the possibility of being hurt in accidents. But children are even more likely to get hurt because of different reasons, for a variety of different reasons. When your child gets hurt in such unfortunate circumstances, it’s really important to have experienced legal guidance.
Supportive Legal Help After a Northern California Bicycle Accident
The skilled team at Paceline Law is here to guide you through the legal steps following a bicycle accident and support you when your child is injured in a bicycle accident. We are experienced in dealing with these situations and making sure your child’s health and feelings come first. Don’t wait to get the help you and your child require. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents With Children in Northern California?
Unfortunately, children are specifically vulnerable to bicycle accidents in Northern California. This is especially unfortunate because Northern California offers ideal conditions for bike riding, with its wonderful weather, scenic views, and investment in bicycling infrastructure. Still, there are causes of children’s bicycle accidents in Northern California that are unique to this situation. Usually, it involves the child:
- Not wearing helmets or proper protective gear
- Riding without adult supervision
- Not knowing how to ride well
- Breaking traffic rules
- Getting distracted while riding
- Facing bad road conditions
- Drivers not watching out for them
Bicycle accidents in Northern California are unfortunate and expensive, regardless of the people involved. But when a child has a bicycle accident, they’re even more at risk. To understand why, consider the following:
- Because they’re smaller and more fragile, children can get hurt more easily. They might hurt their heads, break bones, get cuts, bruises, or hurt their internal organs.
- Children usually don’t know as much as adults about road rules and safe bike riding. They’re not as experienced, so they might not know what to do, which makes accidents more likely.
- Children sometimes don’t realize how dangerous things can be. They might not think fast or understand what could happen if they make a mistake. This means they might mess up while riding.
- A child’s body and brain are still growing, so it can be harder for them to ride bikes safely. They might struggle with balance, moving smoothly, or reacting quickly to unexpected things.
- Wearing a helmet that fits properly is super important to protect kids from head injuries in bike accidents. But sometimes children don’t want to wear helmets or don’t have them. It’s crucial to explain to them and their parents why helmets matter and help them get helmets if they need them.
- Parents need to take care of their children when they’re riding bikes. They should teach them how to ride safely, ride together, and watch to make sure they’re doing the right things on the road.
Because children are so vulnerable to accidents, it’s extremely important to understand what you can do to reduce the risk that your child will be involved in one in Northern California.
Reducing the Chances of a Children’s Bicycle Accident in Northern California
Of course, the best way to lower the chances of your child or any child getting into a bicycle accident in Northern California is to take steps to prevent them. While it’s not possible to completely stop all accidents, you and your child can do certain things to make them less likely:
- Teach your child about the rules of the road and how to ride safely. Show them how to use hand signals, follow signs, and be aware of their surroundings. They can also join a bike safety class.
- Make sure your child wears a well-fitting helmet every time they ride. Explain why it’s important to protect their head. You should also wear one to set a good example.
- Regularly check your child’s bike to ensure it’s in good condition. Examine the tires, brakes, and gears to make sure they work properly.
- Provide your child with a bike that’s right for their age, size, and skill level. Using a bike that doesn’t fit right can be harder to control and more likely to lead to accidents. Adjust the bike for comfort and safety.
- Enhance visibility by adding reflectors and lights to your child’s bike, especially when it’s dark. Make sure they wear bright or reflective clothing so drivers can see them better.
- Supervise young children while they ride. Ride with them until they’re old enough and skilled enough to ride alone. Teach them safe riding practices and ensure they follow the rules.
- Help your child pick safe routes for their rides, especially ones with less traffic and slower speeds. Encourage the use of bike lanes or paths when available. Avoid busy intersections and risky areas.
- Teach your child to effectively signal with drivers and other cyclists. Encourage the use of hand signals and making eye contact when necessary. If they feel unsafe or spot any dangers, urge them to speak up and be confident.
- Set a positive example by practicing safe cycling habits yourself. Always follow the rules of the road, wear a helmet, and ride defensively.
While taking these steps is certainly a positive, it’s still sometimes impossible to avoid an accident. But when your child is involved, the potential injuries and damage can be devastating for you and your family. Thus, it’s crucial to know what your options are in this situation.
Legal Options After a Children’s Bicycle Accident in Northern California
While it’s certainly unfortunate–and often more severe–when a child is involved in a bicycle accident in Northern California, you still have legal options. Still, the circumstances are a bit different when a child is involved, which raises questions of liability. Generally speaking, a child on a bike is viewed the same as anyone else, so when a driver causes an accident, you or another adult that’s responsible for the child can pursue a claim on behalf of the child.
However, California’s comparative negligence rule also comes into play. Thus, if you’re riding a bike with your child and they get hurt because of actions they took, you can share some liability. Overall, though, figuring out who is responsible for the accident depends on negligence, which could entail:
- Exceeding the speed limit.
- Driving too fast for the current weather conditions.
- Failing to yield the right of way.
- Disregarding traffic signs or violating traffic rules.
- Driving recklessly and in a dangerous manner.
- Driving a vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
- Not paying proper attention while driving.
Filing a Claim
Once liability is established, our team of legal professionals at Paceline Law can guide you through the process of filing a damages claim on behalf of your child. These claims provide the opportunity to seek financial support from the insurance company of the responsible party to cover various aspects, such as:
- Current and future medical expenses
- In cases where the injury led to a permanent change in appearance or disability
- The physical and emotional distress your child experienced due to the accident
- Loss of your child’s ability to enjoy life as before the incident
- In the unfortunate event of a fatal accident, coverage for funeral and burial expenses, along with other related damages
Responding promptly when your child is injured in a bicycle accident in Northern California is crucial, not only to help manage immediate medical bills and expenses but also to contribute to your child’s long-term recovery process. While it’s extremely unfortunate, having the support of our team can make this situation much easier.
Contact Paceline Law For a Free Consultation
When your child is involved in a bicycle accident in Northern California, you need skilled guidance to help you through the legal process. At Paceline Law, our experienced and dedicated team of Northern California bicycle accident lawyers have the expertise you and your child need to get through this tough situation. Don’t hesitate–contact us today to set up your free consultation.