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Drivers must be more cautious when a child bicyclist may be near

In Rhode Island, it is very common that you see children riding their bicycles on a regular basis. This is particularly true when the weather outside is nice. Some automobile drivers will tell you that they've had a close call or two with an adolescent bicyclist. Sadly, a bicycle accident will occur every now and then, seriously injuring or killing the child. While drivers are quick to blame the children, it isn't always the child's fault.

When a bicycle-automobile accident occurs, everyone involved wants to find out who is at fault. This includes the child's parents and the drivers involved. The facts of the incident are going to be necessary to determine who exactly is at fault. However, there is one thing for certain: drivers are expected to exercise additional caution when driving in an area where they know or should know that a child may be present. When that increased care is not provided, the driver can potentially be held liable for any and all damages that are suffered by the child bicyclist as well as the child's family.

The driver of the vehicle will likely blame the child. Some drivers will say that the child should have been looking and failed to take the necessary precautions, which is what led to the collision. However, depending on the child's age and the state's laws for contributory negligence, the child may not be of adequate age to be held responsible for the accident.

For Rhode Island parents who have had a child seriously or fatally injured in a bicycle accident, it may be possible to take the driver to court to hold him or her responsible for his or her actions. The incident will need to be thoroughly investigated by police and an experienced attorney. If the case proceeds to trial and is effectively handled, a monetary judgment may be handed down by a civil court to financially assist the injured bicyclist and his or her family.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Bicycle Accident Liability", Accessed on March 9, 2016

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