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Kid Hit by Car in a Child Bike Acciden

Due to the difference in force between bicycles and cars, bike accidents can be highly impactful and cause serious injury to cyclists. While this is true for all cyclists, this is especially true for child bike riders - their small frames hold no feat against a vehicle. Child bike riders are susceptible to harsher injuries from a bike accident, although they might not understand the importance of safety to prevent accidents on their end. For this reason, drivers must hold a greater responsibility when driving around areas where child bike riders are present. Below, our expert team of bike accident injury attorneys from West Coast Trial Lawyers break down child bike accident law.

California’s Comparative Liability

California is a fault state, meaning that when an accident happens, someone must be found at fault for causing it. California is also a comparative liability state, meaning that more than one party involved in the accident can be found liable for causing it. The weight of liability of each party is determined by the level of negligence they each provided to cause the accident. Negligence is a breach of duty of car, which everyone while out in the world carries with them. For drivers, this duty of car is to drive safely behind the wheel and for bicyclists, it’s to ride safely while riding their bike. Both are expected to follow the rules of the road. However, when it comes to children on bikes, they might not be aware of how to properly handle their duty of care and just exactly what all the rules of the road are. For this reason, drivers are expected to offer an increased duty of care when they are in the presence of children.

Driver’s Increased Duty of Care for Children

A driver’s increased duty of care when around children, is the reason why school zone speed limits and rules exist. However, even when drivers are not in a zone with designated safety signs for children, when they are in places where children are present, or where they frequent, such as parks, playgrounds, and neighborhoods, they are expected to increase their duty of car by slowing down and driving more cautiously. They need to be prepared at any moment for a child to pop into the road by surprise.

Child Negligence

Children are young people with ever developing brains who are still learning about the rules and laws of the world around them. They oftentimes might commit negligence when bike riding or otherwise playing out in the street, but they simply might not know better or be aware of the immense danger that could come from their negligent actions. Children oftentimes might perform negligence by riding on the wrong side of the road, riding on the sidewalk, crossing the street at places that are not an intersection, not following traffic signals, and more. However, because they are children, it is the drivers’ responsibility to pay them a higher duty of care.

Child Bike Helmet Laws

In the state of California, children and minors (people under the age of 18) are lawfully required to wear a helmet while riding their bikes. This is unlike the rules for adults who are not required to wear a helmet by law, though are encouraged to. Like anyone hit by a vehicle, wearing a helmet can protect children’s skull and brain from severe damage. As with all cases, whether or not a child was wearing a helmet when an accident occurred can play a role in determining the level of liability that a driver has for causing a child’s injuries. If a child was not wearing a helmet when the accident occurred, they could face lesser compensation for the damages that they experience.

What to Do If a Child Bicyclist Gets Hit By a Car 

  • Stop and immediately call 911 for emergency assistance. Whether you are the person who hit the child or someone who witnessed the accident, it is pertinent that you stop and call 911 immediately. Officers need to arrive at the scene of the accident to create an official report and an ambulance needs to arrive at the scene of the accident to provide emergency medical attention and take them to the hospital if needed. 
  • Get the driver’s information and as much evidence as possible. A driver should not leave the scene of the accident before police arrive. They must provide their identifying information and insurance information to the police. A parent or guardian, if present, should also get this information. Police and witnesses should gather as much evidence as possible, including driver’s license plate numbers, photos of the vehicle, of the crash site, injuries, damages, and more. 
  • Do not touch the child, but do offer them words of support and comfort. Non-medical professionals should not touch the child, unless there is immediate assistance someone can provide such as wrapping up a wound to stop bleeding. A child should not be lifted up and moved under any circumstances, as doing so can cause further damages to injuries, particularly to the spine which could cause paralyzation. People should wait for emergency medical assistance to arrive and offer comfort and support to the child as they are waiting. 
  • Get an attorney. The parent or legal guardian of the child should get an attorney as soon as possible to gather assistance in filing an insurance claim to receive compensation for the damages caused to their child in an accident. An experienced bike accident attorney can provide assistance in getting bills paid for medical attention, building your case to file a claim, and/or filing a lawsuit for these damages. 

Need a Bike Accident Injury Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help

Get the compensation that you deserve! Our experienced team of bike accident injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you cover the property damage experienced to your vehicle, cover medical bills as they come in, and receive compensation for all of your losses. Call us today at 888 341 9802 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate expert personal injury legal team.


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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