A two-year-old girl died when she ran into traffic and was hit by an oncoming car, according to police reports. The child escaped from her home and ran into the road where an oncoming van, unable to see her in the dark, ran over her, followed by a second car. The crash took place near Pecos and Lake Mead. Neighbors claim that the child followed her mother out the door after the woman had an argument with the child’s father. The woman apparently left the home in anger, leaving the door behind her open, and the child got out. Both of the parents were overcome with grief and were treated by paramedics. The parents will not face neglect charges. Police say they will not charge the driver of the van in the crash, calling it a “terrible accident.” The driver stopped immediately and cooperated with the police in their investigation.
CHILDREN AT HIGH RISK IN PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
This tragic story is, unfortunately, not an uncommon one. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were a total of 4,280 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents. While 19 percent of these victims were older adults, making seniors the largest group impacted by pedestrian crashes, children also made up a significant number of these deaths. According to CDC statistics, one of five children killed in a traffic accident in 2010 was a pedestrian. Fortunately, child pedestrian deaths have been on the decline in recent years, partially due to better pedestrian education in many areas. In 2002, there were 391 child pedestrian deaths in the United States; by 2011, the number had decreased by 41 percent.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE IN A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT?
Although the driver in this case was not charged with a crime that does not mean that he may not be civilly liable to a certain extent for the child’s accident. If he was traveling faster than the speed limit or failed to use proper caution, a civil jury could find that he contributed to the accident and is, to a certain extent, liable. Of course, the opposite is also true. A jury could find that the driver used all reasonable caution and that he is not liable for the accident. In cases such as this, much depends on the circumstances and the evidence presented by both sides. If you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident, contact Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas. Our experienced attorneys can help you defend your rights and possibly collect compensation for your injuries.