Parents have a natural instinct to protect their children as much as possible. When it comes to riding a bicycle, most families take the proper precautions to ensure that their children are safe. From properly fitted helmets and safety gear, to reflective clothing and being cautious about following traffic laws and regulations, most children safely enjoy bicycling. It is a terrific way to enjoy the great outdoors, get some exercise, and spend quality time with friends. Alas, even when children take all of the proper safety precautions, accidents do happen. Ultimately, automobile drivers are the ones responsible for driving safely at reasonable speeds and being aware of their surroundings, especially near playgrounds, schools, and in residential areas. A bicyclist can take all the precautions in the world, but if a driver makes one careless or negligent decision behind the wheel, it can result in a tragedy. This is particularly the case when it comes to children riding bicycles, as children tend to have more unpredictable and carefree behavior, and may not always be aware of cars on the road.
The statistics for child bike accidents throughout the country are staggering. It has been reported that over a 10-year period, 2.2 million children sustained injuries from bicycle accidents that were serious enough to require emergency room visits. This equates to approximately 608 child bike accidents every day, or 25 every hour. Safe Kids Worldwide also reports that children ages 14 and under are five times more likely to be injured in bicycle accidents, and are almost four times more likely to be injured when riding their bikes at dawn, dusk, or in the evening.
Bicycle accidents can result in several different types of serious injuries, with some of the most commonly reported ones amongst children being:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bruises and scrapes
- Upper extremity injuries
- Lower extremity injuries
- Facial injuries
- Head and neck injuries
Tragically, some child bike accidents are fatal, and approximately 100 children are killed each year due to bicycle accidents. Safe Kids Worldwide reports that ages 10 to 14 is the age group with the most fatalities resulting from bicycle accidents, with head injuries accounting for more than 60 percent of fatal bicycle accidents. The statistics also reveal that approximately 90 percent of all fatal bicycle accidents involved collisions with cars.
While there may not be a way to completely prevent an accident from happening, especially when someone else’s negligence is the cause, there are several safety precautions that children and their families can take. First and foremost, children should always have on properly fitted helmets before heading out on their bikes, even if it’s just for a short amount of time; an accident can happen in a matter of seconds. It has been reported that wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent and the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent, so it is absolutely crucial to never skip this step. KidsHealth also shares other important bike safety tips for kids and their families, including the importance of wearing bright colors and reflective clothing, which can help drivers see bicyclists better. Older kids should know about the rules of the road as much as possible, including how to stop at red lights and stop signs. Additionally, parents can teach their children how to signal their turns accordingly with their arms, which can help let drivers know which direction they are turning on their bikes. This can be especially crucial at intersections.
When a child is injured or killed on a bicycle as a result of a negligent motorist, it leaves the family absolutely devastated. Although there isn’t anything that can be done that can ever undo the harm that was caused to a child, most families will seek justice through personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. If your child was harmed in a bike accident as a result of another’s negligence, you may already be working with an attorney to seek the justice that your family deserves. However, because these types of lawsuits can be time-consuming, you may have concerns about when your case will finalize, and when you will receive your settlement. After all, accidents often result in unexpected expenses, such as medical bills. Although it’s understandable to want your case to finalize as soon as possible, it’s important to know that a fair settlement often cannot be rushed and that your attorney is working hard at getting you the justice you deserve.
While waiting for your lawsuit to finalize, however, you may qualify for a lawsuit advance. Also commonly known as pre-settlement funding, this is an ideal solution for plaintiffs that can enable them to receive money sooner and upfront. To learn more about our pre-settlement funding services and to find out if your case qualifies, contact USClaims today.