More than 70 percent of all children between the ages of five and 14 ride bicycles. This enjoyable pastime, however, does not come without risk.
Young children are small enough to be easily missed by distracted motorists. They may also lack the judgment to respond to danger appropriately and take the necessary safety precautions. According to some studies, fewer than half of young children wear helmets when they are playing on wheeled toys.
Texas doesn’t have a statewide helmet law, although Austin, Houston, and Fort Worth have mandatory helmet laws for children under the age of 18.
When child bike accidents occur, our Dallas personal injury attorney says, it is usually up to the family to obtain justice through the law.
What to Do After Your Child Is in a Bicycle Accident
After a bike accident, it’s crucial that you seek medical attention for your child—even if they don’t appear to be injured. Because there is little protection from injury for bicyclists, injuries can be severe. The most common injuries sustained in bicycle accidents include:
- Head or neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Internal organ damage
Many of the severe injuries associated with bicycle accidents are not noticeable in the aftermath at the scene of the incident. Getting prompt medical attention is needed to help identify these injuries.
The sooner they are discovered, the sooner the medical recovery process can begin. A diagnosis by a medical professional can also help prove that the injuries were caused by the bike wreck.
In addition to getting medical treatment for your child, you should also take the following steps after a bike accident:
- Keep the damaged bike and helmet, as well as your child’s clothing and shoes.
- If you are at the accident scene and are able to do so, document the scene with pictures.
- When possible, talk to witnesses to the accident and get their contact information.
- File a police report about what caused the bicycle accident, giving you and your child’s perspective of what happened.
- Contact a child injury lawyer. An experienced bike accident attorney can help you investigate the details of the crash, identify the cause, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your rights in the event of a lawsuit.
Having an attorney go over the details of your case can answer your questions and give you a better idea of what to expect as your case moves forward. The sooner your attorney begins investigating the scene, talking to witnesses, and reviewing the police report, the better your chances are of recovering fair compensation. It is important to note here that you should never provide a recorded statement or accept a settlement offer from the insurance company until you have spoken to an attorney.
Recovering Damages After a Bicycle Crash
The money you receive in an accident settlement is to cover the costs that you have paid or the losses you have incurred because of the crash.
There are two primary types of damages: economic and non-economic. Just as with a car accident case, victims of a bicycle accident may recover the cost of their medical bills and other expenses. In addition, there can also be compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and damage to family relationships. In the case of a death caused by a bicycle accident, the victim’s family may be able to recover for the pain and suffering of their family member before their death, as well as the loss of emotional support, love, and affection.