In the difficult period following a child’s accident involving a motor vehicle, families often face a mix of emotions and questions. Children are more vulnerable in traffic situations than adults due to their developing judgment and perception of risk, along with a general lack of awareness about the dangers of vehicles. When accidents happen, the injuries children suffer can be serious, leading to long-term or lifelong impacts that affect not just their health but the entire family.
In these challenging times, the role of an attorney specialized in pediatric litigation becomes crucial. These legal experts understand the specific details of child injury cases and offer the empathy and expertise necessary to guide families through the complex process of seeking fair compensation and support.
If your child was hit by a car or any type of motor vehicle, call us to get the advice you need. Our child injury lawyers are located in the heart of Hamilton, but we represent families throughout Ontario who’s children have suffered serious injuries do to the of others. We would be more than happy to sit with you and your family for as long as you need or answer any questions you may have. Call us today at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Hamilton area at 905-333-8888 to speak with us today. You can also email us confidentially through our website and one of our intake specialists will be happy to set up an appointment by way of zoom or in-person.
Child-pedestrian accidents are a pressing concern. Their frequency and severity underline the vulnerability of children on our roads. The reality is that they can happen anywhere, anytime, changing lives forever.
According to CDC reports, one in every five kids under 15 killed in traffic crashes was a pedestrian. That’s not just numbers; it’s about young lives abruptly cut short or drastically altered by severe injuries. In addition, the 2022 the number of fatalities and injuries among children in Canada due to traffic collisions were as follows were on the rise:
Schools and neighborhoods seem like places where our little ones should be safe from vehicular harm. But these very spaces hold unseen dangers. In Canada alone, around 30% of child-pedestrian collisions occur within school zones according to a study by Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF). These alarming stats show that even familiar surroundings aren’t as benign as we believe them to be.
In exploring the critical issue of child-pedestrian accidents, it becomes essential to identify the most common locations where these tragic incidents occur. Understanding these high-risk zones is a crucial step towards implementing effective safety measures and reducing the alarming frequency of child-pedestrian accidents. Some of the more common places seen by our child injury lawyers are listed below:
Urban areas are more prone to child pedestrian accidents compared to rural areas due to a combination of factors.
Firstly, urban environments generally have higher traffic volumes and denser road networks, increasing the likelihood of interactions between vehicles and pedestrians.
Secondly, urban areas often have more complex street layouts with multiple intersections and frequent stops, which can lead to more situations where drivers and pedestrians must make quick decisions.
Additionally, urban settings usually exhibit a faster pace of life, leading to more hurried and sometimes distracted behavior from both drivers and pedestrians.
This can particularly affect children, who may be less aware of road safety rules or less visible to drivers. The presence of schools, parks, and recreational areas in urban settings also contributes to a higher concentration of children on the streets.
Lastly, rural areas typically have less pedestrian infrastructure, such as sidewalks or crosswalks, which might ironically result in fewer child pedestrian accidents since children in these areas are less likely to be near roadways.
In parks and play areas where children congregate frequently, research shows that vehicles moving near these spaces put young pedestrians at risk. A sudden ball rolling onto the street could prompt a kid into action without considering potential danger from incoming traffic.
The area near driveways poses a significant hazard for children due to the risk of cars backing out. This risk is amplified by the limited visibility drivers often have when reversing or backing out of their driveways, making it challenging to spot small kids who may be playing or walking behind the vehicle.
Children, due to their shorter stature and often unpredictable movements, can easily find themselves in a driver’s blind spot. Moreover, young kids may not yet fully grasp the danger of moving vehicles or may assume that the driver can see them. This combination of limited driver visibility and the natural unpredictability of children’s behavior near driveways creates a perilous situation, contributing to the unfortunate frequency of accidents in these areas.
Parking lots present a significant hazard for small children, particularly concerning vehicles backing out. The layout of parking lots, often crowded and bustling, creates numerous blind spots for drivers. Small children, due to their height, can easily go unnoticed behind a reversing vehicle, especially if the driver is focused on navigating around other cars or pedestrians.
Children, with their limited understanding of traffic safety and a tendency to move unpredictably, may inadvertently end up in dangerous situations.
They might play between parked cars or suddenly dart across the driving lane, increasing the risk of not being seen in time by drivers. This combination of crowded spaces, limited visibility, and the unpredictable behavior of young children makes parking lots a hotspot for potential accidents involving children.
School zones are ironically common sites for child pedestrian accidents due to several factors. During peak hours, such as the beginning and end of the school day, these areas experience high traffic congestion with a mix of vehicles and young pedestrians.
The frequent stopping and starting of buses and cars, coupled with children crossing streets or getting on and off buses, creates a chaotic environment.
Children, often excited or distracted when leaving school, may not always adhere to safety rules or be fully aware of their surroundings. Additionally, drivers, despite being in a school zone, may sometimes be inattentive or in a hurry, leading to dangerous situations.
The presence of newly licensed teen drivers around high schools further adds to the risk. These factors combine to make school zones a particularly hazardous area for child pedestrians.
One of the key risk areas for child pedestrian accidents is non-intersection locations, which are places on the road away from formal crosswalks or intersections.
Children are particularly vulnerable in these areas for several reasons. Firstly, drivers are less likely to anticipate pedestrians crossing the road outside of designated crosswalks or intersections, leading to slower reaction times.
Children, due to their smaller size and less predictable nature, can be especially hard to spot and may enter the road suddenly, such as running out from between parked cars or other visual obstructions.
Additionally, these non-intersection areas often lack safety features like pedestrian crossing signals, marked crosswalks, or traffic calming measures, which further increases the risk. This problem is compounded in residential areas or near schools where children are more likely to be present. The combination of lower driver vigilance, lack of safety infrastructure, and the impulsive and unpredictable behavior of children makes non-intersection locations particularly hazardous for young pedestrians.
Peak traffic times, such as morning and evening rush hours, significantly increase the risk of child pedestrian accidents. During these periods, roads and streets are often congested with vehicles, and drivers may be in a hurry or distracted, reducing their attention to pedestrian safety. At the same time, these peak hours often coincide with times when children are most likely to be outdoors – walking to or from school, playing, or engaging in after-school activities. The convergence of high vehicle traffic and increased pedestrian activity, particularly involving children who may not always be aware of road safety rules, creates a heightened risk environment. Moreover, during these busy times, drivers might be more stressed or impatient, potentially leading to riskier driving behaviors such as speeding or not yielding to pedestrians, further elevating the danger for child pedestrians.
In our experience as child injury lawyers, most accidents involving children getting hit by cars are as follows:
As mentioned above, school zones are particularly critical areas for child pedestrian safety, yet they remain common sites for accidents. One primary reason is the high concentration of children congregating and moving about, often during specific and busy times of the day – mainly before and after school. In these zones, children are frequently crossing streets, getting on and off buses, and being dropped off or picked up by parents, creating a complex and dynamic traffic environment. Despite reduced speed limits and increased signage, drivers may still inadvertently overlook these precautions due to distractions, rushing to meet time commitments, or underestimating the unpredictability of child behavior.
Kids – on their part – may not always be attentive to traffic rules or the dangers posed by vehicles, as they are often focused on socializing with peers or may lack the maturity to consistently practice safe crossing habits. This combination of high vehicle presence, concentrated pedestrian activity, and potential lapses in both driver and pedestrian vigilance makes school zones notable hotspots for accidents involving child pedestrians.
A significant number of incidents involve drivers backing out of driveways and not seeing a small child behind their vehicle. These accidents are particularly common in residential areas and often involve very young children.
Pedestrian accidents involving kids in busy parking lots are nor uncommon. Drivers navigating parking lots are often distracted, looking for parking spaces or exiting the lot, and may not notice small children. Children, on the other hand, may not be aware of the dangers of moving vehicles and can unpredictably dart out from between parked cars, where they are difficult for drivers to see. The combination of limited visibility, driver distraction, and the unpredictable movements of children makes parking lots particularly hazardous for young pedestrians children.
Drunk driving remains a persistent issue contributing significantly towards fatal pedestrian accidents involving children. Despite legal penalties and public awareness campaigns against it, alcohol-impaired driving continues being an alarming problem on our roads today.
With the rise of smartphone use, both driver and pedestrian distraction contribute to accidents. Children may be distracted by electronic devices and not pay attention to their surroundings when crossing streets.
The time when most child-pedestrian collisions happen tends to be during peak traffic hours – early morning when kids are heading to school and late afternoon when they’re returning home. Lower visibility during dusk and dawn, coupled with increased traffic, amplifies the risk.
Parents and community members need to stay vigilant about these factors that contribute towards child-pedestrian accidents. Comprehending these risks is a critical move in avoiding such occurrences from occurring in our communities.
Children are indeed at a higher risk than adults of being involved in pedestrian accidents, particularly those involving vehicles. This increased vulnerability can be attributed to several factors, some of which are noted below:
Children’s lack of judgment and underdeveloped perception skills significantly contribute to their vulnerability around cars and traffic. Due to their young age, children have not yet fully developed the cognitive abilities necessary to accurately judge speed, distance, and the direction of moving vehicles.
Their understanding of road safety rules is often limited, and they may not always be able to anticipate potential dangers or react appropriately in traffic situations.
Additionally, children are often impulsive and easily distracted, which can lead them to act unpredictably, such as suddenly running into the street without checking for oncoming traffic. Their smaller stature also makes them less visible to drivers, especially if they are behind parked cars or other obstacles. All these factors combined mean that children are at a higher risk of misjudging traffic situations and making decisions that could put them in harm’s way, leading to a greater likelihood of being involved in pedestrian accidents.
A child’s peripheral vision, which is less developed than that of an adult, can significantly contribute to their risk of being hit by cars.
Peripheral vision is crucial for detecting motion and hazards outside the direct line of sight. In children, this field of vision is narrower, meaning they may not easily see vehicles approaching from the sides. This limited scope can lead to dangerous situations, especially when crossing streets or navigating busy traffic areas.
Without a fully developed peripheral awareness, children might step into the road without noticing an approaching car, leading to a higher risk of accidents.
A child’s small stature also plays a role in accidents. Their height can hinder visibility both for drivers who may overlook smaller figures near roadways, and for themselves being unable to see over obstacles such as parked cars.
Kids often have a limited perception of risk. Despite their visual perception of safety, children may not always be aware that the driver’s view is limited and cannot see them. They may also overestimate their abilities to cross roads safely due to lack of experience and understanding about speed and distance.
In our experience as lawyers for injured children – pedestrian accidents can lead to a variety of severe injuries, some with long-term consequences. Injuries to the body of a child hit by a car may impede regular growth and maturation. Some of the most serious injuries we have assisted with involving kids are:
Pelvic Fractures can be life-changing due to the complexity and vital functions of the pelvic region. These types breaks can range from stable fractures, which may heal with rest and minimal intervention, to critically unstable fractures, which involve multiple breaks in the pelvic ring and require surgical intervention.
The most severe cases can damage internal organs, nerves, and blood vessels, leading to complications like internal bleeding, urinary and bowel incontinence, or even long-term mobility issues.
In growing children, pelvic fractures can also disrupt normal growth and development of the pelvic bones, potentially leading to chronic pain, deformities, and limitations in physical activity. The recovery process can be lengthy and challenging, often necessitating a multidisciplinary approach including surgery, physical therapy, and psychological support to address the full scope of the child’s physical and emotional recovery. The Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America notes these injuries might also affect future bone growth.
In addition to lower-body harm, knee injuries are common as children attempt to brace themselves at the moment of collision. Similarly, upper extremity damage like arm or shoulder fractures can occur when a child is thrown upon impact.
Growth plates also known as epiphyseal plates, are areas of developing cartilage tissue near the ends of long bones and are crucial for bone growth. When these plates are damaged, it can disrupt normal bone development and growth.
This disruption can lead to several issues: uneven limb lengths, angular deformities, or altered joint mechanics. For instance, if a growth plate in one leg is damaged and ceases to grow while the other leg continues to grow normally, it can result in a significant length discrepancy between the legs. This not only affects the child’s gait and posture but can also lead to secondary problems such as chronic pain, joint problems, and difficulties in physical activities. In severe cases, surgical interventions might be required to correct these deformities or to equalize limb lengths.
I’ve been reprenting kids in all sorts of serious injury cases throughout Ontario – and Canada. We’ve recovered millions in compensation for kids since 2003 and are prepared to help your family through your traumatic situation. Our goal is to try and make your life better.Matt Lalande – Pediatric Trial Lawyer
The impact of growth plate injuries extends beyond immediate physical damage, potentially affecting the child’s overall musculoskeletal development and quality of life.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a child can lead to devastating, life-changing consequences for kids. Depending on the severity, a TBI can cause a wide range of long-term or permanent impairments in cognitive function, physical abilities, and emotional and behavioral regulation. Children who suffer from severe TBIs may experience lifetime challenges with memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills, significantly impacting their learning and educational progress.
Physically, they might face difficulties with coordination, balance, and fine motor skills, hindering their ability to perform everyday tasks.
Furthermore, TBIs can lead to changes in personality, mood swings, and emotional regulation issues, affecting the child’s social interactions and relationships.
These injuries can require extensive rehabilitation, and the child may need ongoing therapy and support. The impact of a TBI on a child’s life extends to their family as well, often necessitating adjustments in family dynamics, caregiving responsibilities, and potential financial strains due to medical and therapeutic expenses. For kids with severe TBI’s the road ahead will be permanently uncertain.
Unfortunately, in high-speed collisions or situations where the child becomes trapped under the vehicle, amputations may occur. When a child loses a limb, he or she will no doubt face a lifetime of challenges, both physical and emotional.
Prosthetics, while essential for mobility and independence, are costly and need to be replaced regularly as the child grows, placing a significant financial burden on families.
The loss of a limb can also influence future job prospects, as physical limitations might restrict career choices. Beyond the physical impact, the psychological effects are profound.
These young individuals often grapple with feelings of isolation, difference from their peers, and the trauma of the accident itself. Long-term psychological support is crucial for helping them adjust to a new way of living and to build resilience in the face of such adversity.
When a child suffers a spinal cord injury due to a car accident, it marks a heart-wrenching turn in their young life and that of their family. These injuries are devastating, often resulting in lifelong disabilities that require extensive medical care, rehabilitation, and adjustments to daily living.
In such tragic circumstances, the guidance of our child spinal cord injury lawyers who specialize in pediatric injuries will be invaluable. We believe that our legal expertise is crucial not only for navigating complex medical and insurance issues but also for securing the necessary compensation via lawsuits and no-fault accident benefits to cover the extensive costs of ongoing care, adaptive equipment, and other needs your child will require. Remember – your child will now face staggering costs throughout their lifetime. Estimates will run into millions of dollars, covering such things as extensive rehabilitation, ongoing care, PSW assistance, transportation costs, medical devices, medical equipment, medication, medical treatments, physical therapy, adaptive equipment, and modifications to living spaces.
A child’s spinal cord injury from a car accident not only brings immense physical and emotional challenges but also necessitates specialized legal assistance and incurs monumental costs, highlighting the critical need for comprehensive support to navigate this life-changing ordeal.
Damage to internal organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys, or lungs can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. These injuries may not be immediately apparent but can have severe long-term health implications.
The impact of child-pedestrian accidents goes beyond immediate physical harm. The following are long-term repercussions which can extend far beyond the initial trauma of a child pedestrian accident, with ramifications that could last for years to come:
Chronic Physical Disabilities: Long-term mobility issues, paralysis, or amputations affecting the child’s independence and quality of life.
Cognitive Impairments: Resulting from traumatic brain injuries, potentially affecting learning, memory, and problem-solving skills.
Psychological and Emotional Trauma: Including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Chronic Pain and Discomfort: Persistent pain from injuries such as fractures or nerve damage.
Growth and Developmental Issues: Injuries affecting growth plates in bones can lead to developmental problems or physical disabilities.
Speech and Language Delays: In cases of brain injuries, there may be impacts on speech and language development.
Social and Behavioral Challenges: Difficulty in social interactions, forming relationships, or behavioral issues stemming from trauma and frustration related to other limitations.
Educational Disruptions: Time away from school for recovery, hospital stays, or decreased cognitive abilities affecting learning progress.
Dependency on Medical Care: Ongoing need for medical treatment, rehabilitation, surgeries, or specialized care.
Financial Strain on Families: Costs related to medical care, rehabilitation, special education, or home modifications can be substantial.
Altered Family Dynamics: The family may experience stress, changes in roles and responsibilities, and emotional strain due to the child’s ongoing needs.
Reduced Career and Life Opportunities: Long-term effects might limit the child’s future educational and career prospects.
When a child suffers a serious injury, the expertise of our pediatric injury lawyers can be indispensable. We possess specialized knowledge in laws pertaining to minors, which is crucial in navigating the legal system and safeguarding the child’s rights.
We are also adept at addressing the long-term impacts of injuries on a child’s development and future, ensuring that compensation covers future medical costs, ongoing therapy, and any necessary special education. Beyond our legal expertise, our child injury lawyers are attuned to the emotional sensitivities of cases involving young victims and we offer compassionate guidance to affected families.
We also play a key role in negotiating with insurance companies to maximize your child’s compensation, ensuring it reflects the true extent of your child’s injuries.
Lalande Personal Injury Lawyer can serve as a strong advocate for your child, supporting them throughout the legal process to ensure their rights are upheld and their small voices are heard. And remember, if you fall upon us by searching “best lawyer for my injured child” we based in Hamilton, but we serve kids and their families all over Ontario.
Finding the best lawyer for your child’s injuries, especially if you’ve never hired a lawyer before, can be a daunting task. Here are some steps to guide you through the process:
Remember, the right lawyer for someone else might not be the right lawyer for you. Take the time to do thorough research and choose someone who you feel confident will represent your child’s best interests.
“How much will this cost?” It’s one of the first questions people ask when hiring a lawyer. But don’t worry. Many law firms, including our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers operate on what are called contingency fees – meaning they only get paid if you win your case.
This is a payment arrangement commonly used in personal injury cases, where a lawyer’s fee is dependent on the outcome of the case. Under this arrangement, your lawyer agrees to represent you as the client without any upfront payment, instead receiving a percentage of the settlement or award if the case is successful.
In Ontario, the percentage varies, but typically ranges from 20% to 30% of the total settlement or judgment amount. The contingency fee model is beneficial for clients who may not have the financial means to pay a lawyer hourly or upfront, as it allows them access to legal representation with no financial risk if the case is lost.
The Law Society Upper Canada, a great resource for understanding legal fees, explains it well.
When meeting with our pediatric personal injury lawyers, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the legal process and how it applies to your child’s situation. Here are some important questions you might consider asking:
Remember, it’s important to feel comfortable and confident with the lawyer you choose to represent your child’s case. Don’t hesitate to ask any other questions that come to mind during your meeting.
If your child has suffered life-changing injuries after being hit by a car or truck – there will no doubt be life-long changes. Some kids may need life-long rehabilitation, while other kids may suffer injuries so serious that it may completely interrupt their future job prospects or employability. Even worse, some kids may never walk again and will require life-long home health aids and extensive medical health assitance, products and assistive devices for the rest of their lives.
Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers are lawyers based in Hamilton, Ontario, who help hurt kids all across Ontario. If your chils was hurt, we will ensure that his or her rights and future are protected no matter what it takes.
To schedule your free consultation with our child accident lawyers, call us toll-free, no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-888-LALANDE or local throughout Southern Ontario area at 905-333-8888. Alternatively, you can chat with our live operator 24/7 or send an email through our website and we will be happy to get right back to you.
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Children are at higher risk in pedestrian accidents due to their smaller size, which makes them less visible to drivers. They also may not fully understand road safety rules and can be unpredictable in their movements.
An experienced child injury lawyer is crucial because they specialize in cases involving children and understand the complexities of laws protecting minors. They can navigate the legal system effectively to ensure the child’s rights and interests are prioritized.
Compensation for a child injured in a pedestrian accident may include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and in some cases, future medical care and educational needs, depending on the severity of the injury.
A pediatric lawyer can help by providing specialized legal representation focused on the unique needs of injured children. They can assist in obtaining the maximum compensation, ensure that settlements are in the child’s best interest, and work with medical professionals to understand the full impact of the injury on the child’s future.
The most common injuries in children involved in pedestrian accidents include bruises, cuts, broken bones, head injuries, and sprains. These injuries vary in severity but often require immediate medical attention.
The worst injuries children can suffer in pedestrian accidents include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe fractures, internal organ damage, and in extreme cases, fatalities. These injuries can have long-term or permanent effects on the child’s health and development.
Compensation for a child injured in a pedestrian accident can include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and in severe cases, long-term care costs and compensation for future loss of earnings. The compensation aims to cover both immediate and future needs arising from the injury.