DeKalb County Pedestrian Accident Causes Fatal Injuries to 5-Year-Old Boy


February 21, 2013

While all pedestrians are susceptible to severe injuries when struck by motor vehicles, children are the most frequent victims of pedestrian accidents. A tragic DeKalb County child pedestrian accident this week serves as a tragic reminder of the danger posed to children walking home after school.

A five-year-old boy, Robert Love, was struck by a vehicle while walking with an eight-year-old boy at the Kensington Station apartments after school according to a spokesman for the DeKalb County police. While the driver of a FedEx truck was questioned, he was released according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). According to AJC, witnesses provided conflicting reports regarding the vehicle that hit the boy.

Child Pedestrians Crossing the Street Mid-Block

Almost forty percent of the children that are injured in pedestrian car accidents involve children under the age of 15, and eight percent of fatal pedestrian accidents involve children. When a child is younger, the risk of the child being involved in a pedestrian accident is even more significant. Preschool and younger elementary school children are those most often struck in midblock pedestrian accidents when crossing the street. The risk of a pedestrian accident is especially high when there are vehicles parked on the side of the street. Parked cars can obstruct a driver's view of child pedestrians.

Children also are placed at higher risk of being involved in pedestrian collisions because of limitations related to their maturity and development. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) produced a report that summarizes findings about the causes and prevention of child pedestrian accidents. Based on studies relied on in the report, the CDC indicates that lack of experience with traffic and perception skills that are not fully developed make children more vulnerable to pedestrian accidents. Children become more mobile and subject to less supervision as they age, but these developments may outpace the development of their perception and decision-making. This explains a CDC finding that parents tend to overestimate their kid's ability to cross the street safely.

Despite the fact that children may be harder to see and more prone to mistakes, motorists have an obligation to take reasonable care to anticipate foreseeable mistakes by child pedestrians. Drivers that disregard safeguards designed to prevent child pedestrian accidents may be liable for pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions resulting in severe injury or wrongful death. Common examples of unsafe driving in the vicinity of high traffic child pedestrian areas like school zones, parks, childcare facilities and others include:

• Exceeding 25 mph in school zones or higher

• Distracted driving which includes using a cell phone to text or talk

• Running traffic signs or signals near crosswalks or intersections

• Reckless or aggressive driving

• Driving faster than the speed limit in residential areas

Insurance companies typically use defenses like the "darting child defense" to shift blame to pedestrian child victims. It is important to have an experienced DeKalb County child pedestrian accident attorney representing you to deal with such defense strategies. If the insurance company successfully proves that the pedestrian's actions partially caused the child-motor vehicle collision, it may result in a reduction in recovery (but in Georgia you are still entitled to recover damages if you are less than 50% at fault). Even more disconcerting, recovery may be entirely barred if the child pedestrian is determined to bear fifty percent or more of the fault for the collision.

Our experienced Atlanta child pedestrian accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.