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Driver negligence in accidents with child bicyclists

A recent post here on our Denver personal injury law blog discussed an incident in which a driver struck and injured a bicyclist. Bike accidents are all too common in Denver, and one type of accident in particular: accidents involving child bicyclists.

Of all car-bicycle accident scenarios, the largest percentage involves child bicyclists. This is important because there are some special considerations surrounding negligence in an accident with a child bicyclist. The information is presented here as a general background on the subject, not as specific legal advice.

When adults are driving, they are expected to pay extra caution around children on bikes. Legally speaking, they owe an additional duty of care. Particularly when driving around a school, playground or through a neighborhood, drivers need to be aware that children are likely in the area and they need to drive more attentively in order to avoid an accident. At the same time, children on bicycles owe less of a duty of care than adult cyclists.

This doesn't mean that a child can act with total disregard for traffic, however. It just means that the onus to avoid an accident with a child on a bicycle is largely on the driver. It also means that, when an accident does occur, and the parents of an injured child sue the driver for compensation, the court will handle the question of negligence differently than it would if both parties were adults.

In these situations, a legal professional can play a vital role in keeping the legal focus on the driver's increased duty of care. And families who obtain compensation from a negligent driver can keep their own focus on healing and recovery.

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