Sometimes, children forget what their parents tell them. “Do not run across the street. Always look both ways!” Parents worry about their children being hit by cars while crossing the street or playing near the roadway. Unfortunately, sometimes, kids are not careful and forget about cars. Who is responsible if a child ran or darted across the street? In other words, is the driver always at fault when a child darts out in front of his or her vehicle?
Is the Driver Liable if a Child Runs Out in Front of the Car?
That depends on factors such as the age of the child, the speed of the vehicle, and the circumstances surrounding the child dart-out car accident. Contact a Lexington car accident lawyer if you are a parent of the child who was injured in a dart-out accident, or you are the driver whose vehicle struck a child who ran or darted across the street. Establishing fault in complicated cases such as these requires you to look at all the factors involved in the collision.
When the Driver is NOT at Fault in Child Dart-Out Accidents
A driver is not typically responsible for causing a dart-out accident if he or she was:
- Traveling at a reasonable and safe speed
- Driving sober
- Obeying all traffic rules
- Not distracted by any external or internal distractions
Under these circumstances, a driver will not be at fault if a child runs out in front of the vehicle, and the driver could not have reasonably stopped or otherwise avoid injury to the child. Typically, drivers cannot anticipate a child darting out in front of traffic, especially if the motorist has no knowledge of any children near the road and their presence cannot reasonably be expected.
When the Driver is Liable for Hitting a Child Who Ran or Darted Across the Street
Under certain circumstances, the motorist can be found at least partially at fault in a dart-out collision with a child. The driver can be held liable if any of the factors are true:
- Driving above the speed limit
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Disregarding traffic signs or rules
- Engaging in reckless driving
- Driving under the influence
- Getting distracted behind the wheel
Also, a driver can be deemed partially or fully at fault if he or she knew or should have known that children could be in the vicinity. In that case, the motorist has a duty to exercise reasonable care and is bound to anticipate children near the street. Such areas include schools, bus stops, parks, playgrounds, sports facilities for kids, theme parks, ice cream trucks, and other areas where children are likely to be present.
Let our Lexington car accident lawyer establish fault in your dart-out collision involving a child. Contact Roberts Law Office to determine negligence in your case. Call at (859) 231-0202 for a case review.