North Carolina Bicycle Accidents Involving Children Attorney
Children involved in car accidents or struck while on bicycles may suffer injuries that affect them for a lifetime. Families who are dealing with this reality can rely on Raleigh bicycle accident attorney Carl Nagle to guide them through the process of trying to hold responsible parties legally accountable. Mr. Nagle and the team at Nagle & Associates advocate on behalf of families reeling from the trauma of a bicycle accident involving their child. As a former insurance claims adjuster and insurance defense attorney, Mr. Nagle appreciates how the other side may attempt to reduce payments or argue against liability. Relying on decades of legal experience and his insurance industry background, Mr. Nagle can aggressively pursue compensation so that your family and you can move forward with recovery. Families throughout North Carolina, including in Raleigh, Asheville, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem, have benefited from our dedication to victims’ rights.
Pursue Compensation After a Bicycle Accident Involving Children
Bicycle riders have legal rights that may be enforced against careless drivers who cause them harm. Parents may assert a legal claim on behalf of their minor child if a driver or another party injured the child. Due to their size, children injured in a bicycle accident may suffer devastating harm, often requiring ongoing medical expenses and specialized care. By proving past and expected future costs, families may reduce the financial burden accompanying a bicycle accident.
In a personal injury claim against a motorist responsible for a bicycle accident involving children, the victim or their family must show that the driver breached a duty of care owed to the child. Based on the details of the accident, the family would need to prove that the defendant driver failed to act as a reasonable person would have acted under similar circumstances. When drivers are aware that children are present or should know that children are present, they are expected to drive with increased care. Locations such as schools, parks, residential neighborhoods, and other areas where children are likely to be present, potentially riding their bicycles, should alert a driver to be cautious.
The insurance company for the driver may allege that the child partly caused the bicycle accident. Under North Carolina’s pure contributory negligence law, typically, a victim will not recover for personal injury damages or property loss if they were partly at fault for the accident. However, when determining whether a child has been negligent in causing an accident, it is important to note that children are not held to the same legal standard of care as an adult.
According to state law, children under seven years old are considered incapable of negligence, and children aged seven to 14 will be presumed incapable of contributory negligence. This means that there is a rebuttable presumption that they act like other children their age. Children over 14 years old are considered capable of contributory negligence. Courts will look at the child’s intelligence, experience, and actual age to make a further determination of fault.
After liability has been determined, proving the extent of harm following a bicycle accident involving children is crucial. When a child is injured, their family may seek to recover the costs of medical bills, physical therapy, and other costs associated with treatment. If the child has suffered major injuries, additional medical and rehabilitation expenses may accrue and require specialized pediatric treatment. These costs may be recovered, as may expenses for modifications to the family home in order to accommodate the child. Families caring for an injured child may also recover missed wages from work due to caring for their loved one.
Settlement of an injury claim involving a minor child requires court involvement and approval of all settlement terms by the court. The parents hold the right to claim payment for medical bills, and the remaining funds are earmarked as payment for the child’s pain and suffering and these funds cannot be collected or held by the parent. In fact, the court will allow the child’s funds to be either held on deposit for the child’s benefit and will be held until the child appears personally after age 18, or the settlement funds must instead be placed into a “structured settlement”. The structured settlement is an annuity that is purchased at time of settlement with the child’s net settlement funds. This money is paid out over time after the child turns 18, and the parents have considerable latitude when determining how and when the funds will be paid over the child’s future.
Discuss Your Claim with a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Raleigh
During all of the stages of the legal process of seeking compensation for your child’s bicycle injury, the team of professionals at Nagle & Associates can provide personal attention to your family’s needs. We are committed to maximizing recovery on behalf of families faced with the challenging aftermath of an accident. For this reason, we charge a reduced legal fee, recovering one-quarter rather than one-third of a settlement award. Raleigh attorney Carl Nagle is prepared to address any concerns that you have regarding your case, and he encourages you to call our firm and set up a free initial case consultation with a motor vehicle collision lawyer. We can be reached online or at (800) 411-1583. Our firm represents people in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Wilmington, Asheville, Greensboro, Hickory, and Charlotte, as well as other cities throughout Forsyth, Mecklenburg, Durham, Catawba, Cumberland, and New Hanover Counties.