Can I File a Lawsuit Over My Child’s Bicycle Crash in Windsor?

bicycles lined upInjury claims are stressful enough. The confusion and anxiety are even worse when the victim is your child.

Below, Greg Monforton and Partners discuss bicycle crashes where the victim is a child, including the common causes of these incidents, injuries and steps parents can take to seek compensation. We also discuss what to do if the at-fault driver or other party leaves the scene or if your child was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.

If your child was injured in a bicycle crash, our bicycle accident lawyers in Windsor are ready to assist you. Our firm has decades of experience helping our clients seek justice for their injuries, recovering millions on their behalf.

Call Greg Monforton and Partners today at (866) 320-4770. The initial consultation is free and there are no upfront costs.

Where are Bicycle Accidents with Children Most Likely to Happen?

Bicycle accidents can happen just about anywhere. However, there are specific danger zones for children, including:

  • School Zones: Negligent drivers often drive too fast and fail to pay attention in these zones, putting children on bicycles at great risk.
  • Residential Areas: Outside of school zones or parks, residential areas are the likeliest places to find children on bicycles. Even children riding on or near driveways are at risk of getting hit by a passing car. Children often do not pay as much attention as they should, but neither do drivers.
  • Intersections: Riders of all ages need to be careful in intersections, as this is where some of the worst crashes happen. Children need to be careful in crosswalks, even when they have the right of way. Getting knocked off a bicycle is dangerous no matter your age, but it is especially risky for younger riders.

Why Do Windsor Bicycle Accidents Occur?

These are some of the main causes of bicycle crashes:

  • Driver Negligence: Drivers may not see a child on or near the road, especially at intersections. While drivers are not used to looking for bicyclists, particularly younger cyclists, bike riders have the right to share the road with motor vehicles. Drivers are also notorious for allow distractions to cause bicycle crashes.
  • Lack of Supervision: Younger children often do not have the skills or judgment to stay safe on their bicycles, especially when cars are nearby.
  • Speed: Speeding vehicles are dangerous for everyone on or near the road, especially kids on bicycles. Speeding limits the amount of time to slow down or stop to avoid hitting another vehicle or person.
  • Negligent Cyclists: Sometimes children on bicycles crash into other riders. One of the riders may have been distracted or not paying attention. Some children are less cautious than others when they ride their bikes.
  • Poor Visibility: Fog, rain and other weather conditions can make it harder to see bicyclists. Lack of sunlight is also dangerous for riders, which is why it may be best not to let children ride their bicycles at night.

What Are the Most Common Bicycle Crash Injuries in Children?

Children can suffer a wide range of injuries, from minor to severe. That said, the risk of severe injuries is higher for children because they are smaller and more prone to injury. Bicyclists also lack the protection of a motor vehicle, putting them at higher risk of serious injury in a collision with a car.

Head Injuries

Even with helmets, children can suffer concussions or skull fractures, which may lead to long-term cognitive and developmental challenges, including problems with:

  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Learning
  • Regulating their emotions and behavior, often experiencing changes in behavior

Broken Bones

Children have smaller bones than adults, which makes them more susceptible to fractures in their wrists, arms and legs. These fractures can potentially limit mobility and disrupt growth, also leading to complications, such as improper bone healing or multiple surgeries.

Cuts and Bruises

Road rash and deep cuts can result in painful wounds, possible infections and lasting scars that may require extensive medical treatment. In some cases, these injuries might also reduce skin sensitivity and create mobility issues, particularly if the injury affects your child’s joints.

Internal Injuries

Blunt-force trauma can cause serious internal damage. Your child may need emergency surgery to lower the risk of long-term health complications, such as chronic pain and organ dysfunction. Internal organ damage could result in your child needing long-term care.

What Types of Compensation Can Your Child Can Receive After a Bicycle Crash?

If your child was injured in a bicycle crash, you may be able to seek compensation for damages on their behalf. For example, you may be able to file a claim against the no-fault benefits in your car insurance. These benefits could cover:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes the cost of necessary medical treatments and healthcare services to help in your child’s recovery.
  • Rehabilitation: This provides for rehabilitation services your child needs for recovery.
  • Attendant Care: Your no-fault benefits offer financial support if you need to hire a professional to care for your child. This coverage is limited to $1,000,000 for catastrophic injuries and $65,000 for non-catastrophic injuries.

However, it is still important to get the at-fault driver’s contact and insurance information. That way, you can seek compensation from his or her insurance policy if you need more than your insurance will provide.

If your child was fatally injured in a bicycle crash, Ontario’s Family Law Act gives you the right to file a wrongful death claim for the losses you and your family suffered. This claim can cover:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Additional out-of-pocket costs stemming from your child’s passing.
  • Pain and suffering caused by the loss of your child

How Long do I Have to File a Claim for My Child’s Bicycle Crash?

Parents must file a claim within two years of their child’s 18th birthday. After that, you lose the right to seek compensation on behalf of your child.

While you may hear that and think you have plenty of time to file a claim, it is better to start the legal process as soon as possible. The longer you wait to contact a lawyer, the harder it will be to build a strong case. Evidence could get lost and witnesses could forget important details about what they saw.

What if the At-Fault Driver Left the Scene of Your Child’s Bicycle Accident?

You can still seek compensation for your child’s injuries from your uninsured motorist coverage or statutory accident benefits coverage.

If you do not have insurance, and if the police either cannot find the hit-and-run driver or this person does not have insurance, you may be able to seek compensation from the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. This fund provides up to $200,000 in accident benefits.

An experienced lawyer can review your situation to determine the available insurance coverage and the value of your damages.

Tips for Children to Stay Safe While Riding Their Bicycle

Although bicycle crashes can happen at any time, parents should still talk to their children about how they can stay safe. Here are some safety guidelines to help lower the risk of a collision:

Wear a Helmet

Make sure your child wears a properly fitted helmet, as it can help lower the risk of head injuries in a fall or collision with a motor vehicle.

Choose the Right Bicycle

Make sure your child is riding a bicycle that he or she can control. Your child should be able to rest both feet on the ground while sitting on the bike and should not struggle to maintain balance.

Ride in the Right Direction

Teach your child to ride in the same direction as traffic. They can also learn hand signals to communicate with drivers and reduce the risk of crashes.

Avoid Riding at Night or on Busy Roads

Keep your child safe by avoiding nighttime bike rides. Set a curfew for when they can ride and inform them about busy streets to avoid.

Did Your Child Suffer Injuries in a Bicycle Accident? Seek Help From Greg Monforton and Partners

If your child suffered an injury in a bicycle crash in Windsor, Greg Monforton and Partners is here to help. Our experienced legal team has the resources and legal knowledge to support you through this challenging time.

Taking the first step can be daunting, but you are not alone. Reach out today. You will not pay any upfront fees, and we only get paid when you receive compensation.

Call us to discuss your case at no charge: (866) 320-4770.