While they may appear oblivious to the dangers they face, children are at risk of being struck by inattentive motorists.
Certainly, this is a tragedy all drivers want to avoid. No one wants to live with the knowledge they killed or maimed a child. Then, too, motorists should know they have a special duty of care to children.
Younger children face higher risks
Kids age 5 to 9 have the highest risk of being struck by a car. Presumably, children 4 and younger are more closely supervised by parents or guardians and kids 10 and older are bigger and more easily seen by drivers.
But children who fall into the 5-to-9 demographic are often playing outside with siblings or neighborhood friends. Their small stature makes them harder for drivers to see, especially when they dart from between two parked cars or barrel out of driveways on their bikes.
Drivers face greater liability
Law enforcement and legislators realize this, and that’s why there are provisions in the law that make drivers bear greater liability when traveling near parks, schools and through residential neighborhoods.
Slow down in areas where children gather
Drive slowly through streets and areas where you know or should realize there will be children playing, walking, riding bikes, etc. Sometimes, an accident is unavoidable. But if law enforcement officers determine you were traveling at a low rate of speed when the crash occurred, it is far less likely you could face criminal charges in the incident.
You could still be held civilly liable regardless
Just because you don’t wind up facing criminal charges in the Massachusetts courts doesn’t absolve you of all civil liability in the event you kill or injure a child in a pedestrian collision. Since the standard of liability is far lower in the Massachusetts civil court system than it is in the criminal courts, there is no need to prove you intended to cause any harm when you got into the accident.
Seek damages if your child gets hit by a car
If you are the parent of a child who gets hit by a car, their injuries could be extensive. They might require multiple surgeries and months or years of physical, occupational and other rehabilitative therapies. Seeking damages from the driver who struck your child might be the only way to ensure that your child gets the medical and financial help needed to survive and heal.