Those injured by a driver’s carelessness have options to consider to protect their interests following an accident.

A tragic car accident in a nearby Pennsylvania community recently took the life of a child and injured another. A car crash between a passenger vehicle and a truck spilled onto the sidewalk, killing a ten-year old boy and injuring his 11-year old friend. As the pickup truck was traveling south, the car was traveling east but turned south onto the roadway the pickup truck was already traveling along. The two cars collided and jumped the curb. Speed appears to have been a factor in the accident. Police said that charges are pending the outcome of the continuing accident investigation.

Drivers must always exercise care when driving or risk liability for damages if they cause an accident. A personal injury lawsuit can be brought against the negligent driver by a victim or by the victim’s family, called a wrongful death claim, if a loved one was killed in an auto accident. Drivers are always expected to exercise reasonable care to avoid harm to others on the roadways, however, this expectation can increase when children are likely to be present in an area where the driver is.

In situations when a driver knows, or has a reason to know, that children may be present in a particular area, the driver can sometimes be held to an increased standard of care which requires the driver to exercise an increased level of care and caution. In some cases, if a driver fails to take the additional precautions required by the increased level of care (such as increased alertness in an area where children can be expected), the driver may be liable for negligence if they cause an accident that injures a child. Other ways of proving driver negligence in a personal injury claim can be through citations that were issued as a result of the accident or charges that were brought against the driver.

The legal system offers options to victims of car accidents and their families to help protect them following an accident. Victims and family members injured by a negligent driver may find that an experienced legal professional can carefully, and compassionately, guide them through the process.

Source: CBS Philly, “1 Child Killed, 1 Hospitalized In Chester Crash,” Elizabeth Hur, July 17, 2013