Children and Driveway Accidents: Who’s Responsible?

a little boy admitted to the hospital after a driveway accident involving a car

A recent study by the NCBI found that driveway accidents are unfortunately common, usually involve young kids, and could be lethal. In addition, most of the injured children were actually injured by their own parents or a family member behind the wheel.

In cases like these, who could be held responsible? Read on to find out.

The Potential Dangers of Driveways

In the same study, driveway accidents that involve injured children typically cause injuries that resulted from the child shifting the idle car into or out of gear. Some incidents involve injuries from a car that struck a child, such as in a back over. It also showed that younger kids tend to get severely injured in such accidents and most of these mishaps involved a sports utility vehicle or a truck moving in reverse.

Research by KidsandCars.org also found that almost 50 children in the U.S. get “backed over” by cars every week and that most of these kids are younger than 2 years old.

However, although those involved in driveway accidents would most certainly be slapped with a lawsuit, it’s not only the driver that courts might hold accountable for the accident. Other individuals or entities found involved might also face other charges other than a personal injury claim or lawsuit, warns a top car accident attorney in Springfield, IL.

Who’s Responsible for Driveway Accidents?

While drivers would be generally held accountable for driveway accidents, courts could also hold the owner of the vehicle or the homeowner accountable, depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, if the vehicle involved in the accident has a backup technology, such as sensors or cameras and these failed while the driver is backing up, the component or vehicle manufacturer might face a product liability claim. In addition, if the homeowners failed to address potentially dangerous driveway conditions, they might also face a personal injury claim.

The responsible party could be held criminally liable for the accident if the court finds that the alleged offender is guilty of vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, or even involuntary manslaughter. If you’re facing a personal injury claim due to an accident in your property or were behind the wheel when the accident occurred, consult an attorney to learn about your case and your options.