There are lots of different ways to get kids to school. Two of the healthiest (and arguably the most fun) ways to commute are by walking or biking to school. Kids can get a little exercise before sitting in their classes, they can connect with other neighborhood kids, and they can learn a little independence. However, all of these potential benefits of walking or biking to school can be quickly overshadowed if the drivers on the road do not do their part to watch for children and to prevent serious, potentially deadly, crashes.
Warn Your Children About These Safety Issues Before They Walk or Bike to School
Your child may be walking to school with you for the first time as a kindergartner, or your child may have been doing this alone for many years. Either way, at the beginning of each school year, and periodically throughout the school year, it is important to remind your child of important safety issues and tips. For example, you may talk to your child about:
- How to cross the street properly. You can do this safely by looking to the left, to the right, and back to the left again. This will help prevent collisions.
- Never using a cell phone while walking or biking. A distracted pedestrian or biker can cause his own injuries.
- Always wears a bike helmet while riding a bicycle. This can prevent serious head injuries.
- Any specific issues that may arise on your child’s unique route to school. This could include complicated traffic flow patterns, badly timed traffic signals, and other issues.
- Wearing bright or reflective gear. This is important for kids that are walking or biking to school so that motorists can easily see them. Bright clothing is especially important in bad weather or the winter when it may be darker during the morning commute.
- Walking or riding in a group, if at all possible. The kids may be easier to see if they are together and may be able to get help promptly if one or more of them get hurt in an accident.
Additionally, it is important to make sure that your child knows what to do immediately after an accident. If your child has a cell phone then he should call 911 immediately. If your child does not have a cell phone then he should ask a friend, a driver, a witness, or a passerby if he can borrow a cell phone to contact 911, if 911 has not yet been called.
Who Is at Fault If Your Child Is Hurt While Walking or Biking to School?
As with any personal injury case, liability depends on the unique facts of the case. In order to know who is legally responsible for compensating your child for damages after a pedestrian or bicycle accident, you need to know exactly who was at fault.
It is not always the driver who is at fault for a pedestrian or bike crash. However, if the driver was distracted, drowsy, drunk, or otherwise negligent then the driver may be liable for any injury that your child suffered in the accident and your child’s recovery may include compensation for past and future:
- Medical treatment.
- Out-of-pocket expenses.
- Lost income.
- Physical pain and emotional suffering.
Any other damages that you can prove were the result of the pedestrian or bike crash will also be compensated.
How to Protect Your Child’s Right to Fair Damages
As a parent, you do everything that you can to protect your child’s health and future. As you work with your child’s doctor to help him recover from the physical injuries caused by the pedestrian or bicycle accident, we also encourage you to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help protect your child’s future.
Our Iowa personal injury lawyers will investigate what happened to your child, will identify the responsible parties, and will fight hard for your child’s fair recovery. If we take your child’s case, then you can be confident that all of your child’s rights will be protected. Please contact us today for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to learn more. You can reach us anytime via this website, by phone or by text.