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Vehicle Accidents: When Children are Involved

By Edited Apr 5, 2016 0 0

Vehicle accidents in Los Angeles usually result in injuries that range from mild to serious. And there are cases where accidents involve children, such as when it occurs in places where children play (like parks and playgrounds) or near a school.

These incidents usually have grim outcomes so it must be avoided at any cost. A motorist or driver must always exercise extra care and vigilance when children are near to avoid injuring them.

Injuries to Children: Driver's Liability

When you are driving in a place where children are present or are known to be present, you should avoid making any unreasonable risk of injury or harm to children.

The exact duty of a driver depends on the possibility of causing any injury to a child. When a risk or danger is reasonably anticipated or foreseeable, you must avoid it or do something to prevent any accidents.

You should exercise the caution of a normally careful individual to protect children from any harm or injury. The level of caution or care that you must exercise depends on the nature and age of a child who was injured. Some of the factors that need to be considered when examining whether you have exercised the proper care for a child are the known characteristics of children.

Here are some factors considered in determining the liability of a Driver

  • Characteristics of Children

Children have a tendency to lack awareness for danger and be curious. They may run into the road all of a sudden after a pet on the loose or a stray ball as they are prone to impulses. A lot of courts have held that children cannot be expected to safeguard themselves from being hit by a vehicle under these circumstances.

  • Predictability

A driver's liability for any injury to children could depend on whether a reasonable person would have predicted the consequences of the actions of the driver in the same situations. If the risk of harm or injury is not evident, then the driver would not be held legally responsible for the injuries.

  • Specific Duties

The standard of care of a driver is to behave as a normally careful person in the same situation. To fulfill this standard, a driver has to take some actions while driving, such as the following:

  1. Reducing speed, sounding a warning, or stopping
  2. Keeping appropriate control
  3. Preparing to take any evasive actions, if necessary
  4. Causation

A driver can avoid legal responsibility for injuring a child if his/her negligent actions did not cause the injury of the child directly. The only cause of the vehicle accident may possibly be the behavior of the child who was injured or the negligence of the parent of the injured child, such as allowing the child to play by the street without any supervision from an adult.

  • Defenses

If the behavior of the injured child contributed to his/her injury, the liability of the driver may be reduced in the percentage of the fault of the child under the comparative negligence law (this law does not apply to all states)

Under the comparative negligence law, the responsibility of every party for any accident and injuries is taken into account. In spite of this, the law may provide that young children are not capable of comparative negligence and older children are only compelled to exercise the level of care that normally careful children of the same intelligence and experience would use.

In addition, the driver may be able to raise defenses by arguing that the vehicle accident was inevitable under the conditions or bring up defenses under the emergency doctrine. These defenses acknowledge that in certain emergency situations the choices of a driver in maneuvering his/her car are only limit

Los Angeles Vehicle Accidents Lawyers

Being in an accident in which children are involved are complicated and having the aid of skilled Los Angeles vehicle accidents experts, personal injury lawyers is a must.

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