If My Child Has Been Injured or Killed by a Motor Vehicle When He or She Was a Pedestrian, What Are Our Rights?

January 11, 2023 Posted In Pedestrian Accident

If your child is injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, you have the right to hold the driver responsible and seek compensation. 

If My Child Has Been Injured or Killed by a Motor Vehicle When He or She Was a Pedestrian, What Are Our Rights?

Special Duty Owed by Adults to Children

Drivers are required by California law to “anticipate the ordinary behavior of children” and “be more careful in dealing with children than with adults” (CACI No. 412 – Duty of Care Owed Children). Additionally, minors are not held to the same standard of care as adults. CACI No. 402 – Standard of Care for Minors states that “a child is required to use the amount of care that a reasonably careful child of the same age, intelligence, knowledge, and experience would use in that same situation.” Therefore, even if your child disobeyed the law by darting into the street, for example, the driver who hit them can still be held accountable. 

How To Hold the At-Fault Party Liable

Since California is an “at-fault” state, those responsible for causing an accident are liable for damages. As a result, you have the right to file a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company or to file a personal injury lawsuit to pay for the following: 

Medical Expenses

Any current and future medical care expenses necessary to treat your child’s injuries. 

Lost Wages

Any income lost from being unable to work while you care for your child and the amount you will likely lose in the future. In addition, if your child suffers a permanent impairment or disability that decreases your ability to earn an income or forces you into a different line of work, you can also obtain compensation for the difference, known as diminished earning capacity. 

Pain and Suffering

Compensation for the physical pain and discomfort your child has endured and any emotional distress. Emotional distress describes the psychological harm caused by the accident, such as anxiety, PTSD, depression, insomnia, terror, etc. 

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant for extremely reckless or malicious conduct. As a result, they may not be available in every case. 

Child Pedestrian Accident and Wrongful Death

When a child is tragically killed in a pedestrian accident, parents have the right to file a wrongful death claim to hold the at-fault party accountable. The following types of damages can be recovered in a wrongful death claim. 

  • Medical bills caused by the accident which led to your child’s death
  • Loss of expected income for any time spent caring for your child. 
  • Loss of companionship and love
  • Loss of financial support, depending on the age of your child and whether you depended on them for financial support
  • Compensation for your child’s pain and suffering before passing
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Estate administration expenses if applicable

Although no amount of compensation will make up for the pain of losing a child, at the very least, it will ease financial stress at an already overwhelming time.

An Attorney Can Help

In these cases, contacting an experienced Riverside Pedestrian Accident Attorney is in your best interests. They will handle every aspect of your case, allowing you to spend more time with your family. 

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