According to a report from Fox 40, a 13-year-old was killed in a heartbreaking bicycle accident in Stockton, California. The victim was struck by an automobile near the intersection of Center Street and Acacia street. Officers reached the scene shortly before 10:30 PM. Tragically, the teenager was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash. No cause has yet been given and the bicycle accident is still under a more comprehensive investigation by the Stockton Police Department.
The incident is an unfortunate reminder of the danger that cars pose to bicyclists—especially younger riders. Each year, far too many children are killed or maimed in avoidable bicycle/vehicle collisions. We all need to do more to make our streets safer for children. Here, our Stockton car accident lawyers discuss the risk that traffic poses to young bicyclists and provide an overview of the key things parents should know about child bike accident injury claims in California.
Hundreds of Children are Injured in Bicycle Accidents Each Day
Bicycles serve as a source of fun, exercise, and environmentally-friendly transportation for children and teenagers. At the same time, bicycle accidents are a significant public health issue. According to a report from CBS News, hundreds of children are injured in bicycle accidents every single day across the United States. While the majority of these injuries are moderate, the unfortunate reality is that too many young riders are killed or severely injured in bicycle accidents.
A study published in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention estimates that more than 2 million children and teenagers—ages 5 to 17—visit the emergency room for bicycle accident injuries each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 1,000 people are killed in bike/car accidents annually—with younger riders being disproportionately likely to be involved in a fatal bicycle crash.
Drivers Must Get Better at Safely Sharing the Road With Young Bicyclists
Bicycle accidents can occur for a wide variety of different reasons, particularly when young children are involved. That being said, a significant share of childhood bike accidents occur because drivers simply fail to safely share the road with young riders. All motorists in California have a legal responsibility to operate their vehicles in a safe manner, including watching out for bicyclists and pedestrians. When drivers fail to act safely—whether due to speeding, distracted driving, intoxicated driving, or any other form of negligence—they must be held accountable.
Four Safety Tips for Parents in Stockton
As a parent, there are proactive steps that you can take to help make sure that your child or teenager is a safe rider. Here are four bicycle safety tips for parents who have children in Stockton:
- Take the time to practice bike safety with your children. Young riders need to know what safe practices look like. It is especially important that children learn how to ride their bike safely when traffic is an issue.
- Make sure that your child or teenager wears a bike helmet every time. Bike helmets prevent brain injuries and save lives. If they refuse to wear a helmet, you may need to revoke their riding privileges.
- Model good bicycle safety behavior. Children are more likely to ride safely when they see that their parents follow the rules.
- Put restrictions on when and where your child can ride their bike. Certain roads and certain times (night) are simply less safe.
What to Know About Child Accident & Injury Claims in California
Was your child injured or killed in a bicycle accident in Central California? If so, you need to know how to get justice and financial support for your family. A personal injury claim/wrongful death claim can be filed on behalf of a child. In many ways, these types of cases are similar to adult personal injury cases. However, there are also a few very important differences that you and your family need to be aware of. Here are some of the key reasons why child bicycle accident injury claims are different than other types of personal injury claims:
- A Parent (or Guardian) Can Pursue the Claim: Children cannot act on their own behalf in a California court. For this reason, any bicycle accident injury claim being pursued for a child should be filed by their parent or guardian. As with other parts of a child’s life, a parent/guardian has an important role in protecting the child’s best interests.
- The Statute of Limitations is Not as Strict: Under California state law (California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1), most bicycle accident injury claims are regulated by a two year statute of limitations. However, there are exceptions in child injury cases. A child may have additional time to act. Still, it is imperative that you initiate the claims process promptly.
- A Child’s Future Medical Needs Must be Considered: Was your child seriously hurt in a bicycle accident in Stockton? If so, you need to make sure that your family receives the maximum available financial compensation, including for your child’s pain and suffering and for any ongoing/future medical needs that they might have.
- Any Child Injury Settlement is Subject to Court Approval: Relatively few personal injury cases actually go to trial. Settlements are more common than verdicts. In California, any personal injury settlement in a child bicycle accident case is subject to court approval. A California court must confirm that the settlement is in the best interests of the child.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Stockton, California
At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockon motor vehicle collision attorneys have the professional skills and legal expertise to handle the full range of bicycle accident injury claims. If your child was seriously injured in a bicycle accident, our legal team is here to help. Call us at 209-267-4589 or use our online contact form for a free consultation. We handle bicycle accident claims in Stockton and throughout the wider region, including in Sutter Creek, Tracy, and Sacramento.