While cycling is a favorite activity of many children here in Chicago, there are risks parents and child should be aware of.
Cycling is an activity that promotes health and helps develop a child’s gross motor skills. Learning to ride a bicycle is a great milestone in a child’s life and gives them the joy of having a level of independent. However, cycling comes with its own inherent risks, and it is important for parents and children to recognize these risks. According to the Center for Disease Control, about 59 percent of individuals who reported to emergency rooms for treatment of bicycle injuries were children under the age of 15 years. Every year, close to 300,000 child bicycle injuries are reported.
Motor Vehicle-Bicycle Accidents Involving Children
Most injuries that are reported are a result of a child falling from the bicycle. However, accidents and injuries involving motor vehicle and bicycles are not uncommon. When a motor vehicle hits a kid riding a bicycle, the injuries that occur are often severe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), children under the age of 14 years account for almost 18 percent of motor vehicle-bicycle accident crashes. These types of accidents cause over 9,000 injuries and about 55 deaths each year.
In the case of an accident involving a child bicycle rider and motor vehicle, liability is not always easy to establish. Children may not always know the traffic rules and may also disobey them; however, motor vehicle drivers are also responsible to watch out for bicyclists or pedestrians they are sharing the road with. Determining whether the bicyclist or the motor vehicle driver is at fault may become complicated. Consult an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer from Willens Law Offices.
Common Injuries Caused by Child Bicycle Accidents
While a bicycle accident may cause a wide variety of injuries, the most serious injuries are brain injuries. In addition to brain injuries, the other more serious types of injuries that a child can suffer in a bicycle accident are broken bones and lacerations.
Traumatic brain injuries are a common cause of disability and death among children, according to the Brain Injury Association. Every year, more than a million children suffer some type of brain injury. One of the biggest problems involving brain injuries is that the symptoms are not always immediately felt, taking hours and even days for the symptoms to present themselves. Parents may feel that their child has recovered from a head injury, but the effect of the brain injury may be felt even years later. A child who suffers a brain injury in a bicycle accident may face cognitive difficulties or lower IQ, behavioral difficulties caused by damage to the frontal cortex, emotional problems, and memory and attention problems.
Chicago Bike Accident Attorney
If your child has been injured in a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle, call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 to learn about your legal options.