November is Child Safety Month in the United States. Holidays and breaks from school are coming up, making this the ideal time to be extra aware of children at play, in your car, and on their bicycles. Let’s review some facts and tips that can help keep all children safe. This read could even help you avoid a liability lawsuit.
Children are the most common victims of dog bites and are at the highest risk of being catastrophically injured. Most dog bites affecting young children occur during routine activities and playing with familiar dogs.
Explain to your children or those nearby that they should never assume it is safe to pet or play with a dog. The American Veterinary Medical Association also strongly advises avoiding a dog if it is already playing with a toy. This may seem counterintuitive since socialized dogs like to play with people and their toys. The risk of injury can be reduced if the owner is present and grants permission to engage.
Dog bite claims involving children are particularly complex and affecting. Pritchard Injury Firm represented a client from North Georgia whose six-year-old daughter was playing by herself in the front yard when the neighbor’s dog viciously attacked her face. The homeowner’s insurance company initially denied liability. During mediation, Pritchard Injury Firm secured a $150,000 settlement – three times the initial offer (and the previously reported national average) – to help the girl recover.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has tracked fatality rates caused by motor vehicle accidents among U.S. children younger than 13. Record-keeping began in 1975, and in that year 3,643 children died due to motor vehicle accidents – in cars, on bicycles, or as pedestrians. That number has greatly decreased since then, with 922 in 2021.
Despite the progress, averaging at least two child fatalities per day is no reason to celebrate and these tragic accidents still occur locally. We can further lower these numbers by following Georgia and Tennessee laws that ensure passengers are properly seated and wearing seatbelts.
Georgia Driving Laws
All children under the age of 8 whose height is less than 57 inches must ride in the backseat of a car. They are also required to be in either a car seat or a booster seat suitable for their age and height.
A child is safer in the back and farthest away from the force of an airbag. Remember that airbags are designed to save adults, and due to their force, they can be fatal to children.
Tennessee Driving Laws Drivers
Children less than age 18 are covered under the Tennessee Child Passenger Safety and Graduated Driver Licensing laws.
Unbuckled rear-seat occupants can injure buckled front-seat occupants, as well as themselves, when they are thrown around or out of a vehicle during a crash. Tennessee is an at-fault state, meaning that the driver determined to have caused the car accident will be legally and financially responsible for damages and injuries.
Tips For All Drivers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that 52% of all collisions within the U.S. occur within a 5-mile radius of the home, and 69% occur within 10 miles. Another critical detail is that the two days of car accidents most frequently occurred in 2021 (and historically) are Saturday and Sunday – the days when kids are out of school.
One reason for the overall drop in fatalities was the implementation of stronger seatbelt and driving laws, which Georgia and Tennessee enforcement agencies take very seriously. All riders should buckle up even on short trips and be more alert on these routine drives since kids will be out on bicycles, or walking on streets and in parking lots.
Vehicles are required to yield the right of way when turning or driving around bicycles. This is the top reason drivers receive police citations. And though it seems like common sense, it’s worth reminding that drivers are prohibited from driving aggressively, recklessly, or under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
All bicycle accidents must be reported and investigated, and you should never move the bicycle after an injury-causing accident before photographing its location and position.
As previously mentioned, if you or your child are injured because someone else violated the Georgia Motor Vehicles and Traffic: Uniform Rules of the Road Law, you may be entitled to compensation.
Your GA/TN Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Understanding liability in any accident is crucial for victims seeking fair compensation for their injuries and losses. In Georgia and Tennessee, pedestrian accident cases involve intricate legal considerations, and multiple parties may share liability.
If you or a loved one were injured while on foot due to the negligence of another, our attorneys are here to help. The mission of Pritchard Injury Firm is to provide you and your family with the highest quality of legal help available and a professional, stress-free experience. Contact us today.