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Is the driver always at fault when a child is hit crossing or playing in the street?

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Car accidents involving children are unfortunately more common during the summer.  This is because children are out of school during the day and many times are walking to their friend’s house, walking on the street to play with their friends, or playing on the street a fun game with other children.  So if a car accident occurs in Philadelphia when a child is playing or trying to cross the street quickly, who is at fault?

A Driver Of a Car Must Be More Careful and Watchful as Compared to a Younger Child Crossing or Playing in the Street.

Under Pennsylvania law, the driver of a car must use “ordinary care” when operating their automobile.  However, “ordinary care” involving children means that a driver must give added attention or consideration to the fact that children do not usually exercise the same degree of caution for their own safety as adults normally do.   The Pennsylvania Courts have held that a car driver must exercise a far greater degree of care or caution especially if the child is very young and has not reached an age of discretion where they can more easily maneuver or get out of the way safely using independent judgment.   In short, the younger the child, generally the less sense of danger the law finds the child possesses and more care is required by the driver.

A Driver Is Responsible For Being Able to Control Their Car or Truck To Avoid Hitting A Child Who Can Be Seen or Observed In The Street.

According to Edith Pearce, an attorney in Philadelphia who has handled car accidents involving children, “Under the law, the driver may be found negligent if the driver fails to control his or her car or automobile in such a way as to avoid hitting and injuring a child who is in the street or road especially if the child was in the street for a sufficient amount of time for the driver to observe the child.”  According to Attorney Pearce, “In handling cases with children being injured, one factor is how long the child was visible on the street to allow the driver to see the child and prevent the accident.”

Ask For Help From an Experienced and Caring Attorney in Philadelphia

These cases are all different, and it is important to document the accident with pictures and names of witnesses.  Often the insurance company will try and blame the child for causing the accident, but an experienced lawyer dealing with automobile accidents involving children will know how to prepare these types of cases.  In fact, Philadelphia lawyer Edith Pearce worked defending these type of cases before she decided to open up her own law firm in Philadelphia represent victims of personal injuries.  She knows the tricks of the trade and the defenses insurance companies use to avoid these claims.  If you know of a child or loved one who has been hurt in an accident in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia suburbs, or Southern New Jersey, please contact The Pearce Law Firm to see if we can help.

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