If you turned on a TV in the late 90’s or early 2000’s, it was hard to miss the ‘Stop, Look, Listen, Live’ road safety campaign that featured a cute little family of animated hedgehogs. Designed to teach children about the risks of road traffic accidents, the little hedgehogs sang their way through various hazardous situations with songs we all recognised such as ‘King of the Road’ and ‘Stayin’ Alive’. Despite the broadcast of these and numerous other adverts over the years, road safety is as much an issue today as it ever was, and although educating children about the risks of road traffic accidents is still a priority, there are still far too many lives lost on the UK’s roads.
Road safety and accidents involving children
According to a 2017 study by Child Alert, 107 children were killed and over 5,000 seriously injured as they crossed the road in 2016. And although drivers can’t always be blamed for tragic accidents, there are plenty of times when accidents could be avoided – for example when a driver is speeding, under the influence of alcohol, distracted at the wheel or tired. Teaching our children about road safety isn’t always enough to keep them safe, and if your child has been injured due to somebody’s negligent behaviour then you could consider making a personal injury claim for compensation, provided it has been three years or less since their accident.
How many children are killed in road traffic accidents?
According to figures from the Department for Transport, 54 children were killed in road traffic accidents in 2015 (aged 0-15) – that accounts for 3% of all fatalities on the UK’s roads. That may not sound like a lot, but when you consider the fact that many of these accidents could probably have been avoided, it’s obvious more needs to be done to keep children safe. Despite road safety campaigns, if your child has been the victim of a dangerous or negligent driver, you could claim compensation after their accident. It won’t bring back a child who has been killed or undo what has happened, but it could help you out financially at a distressing time. If your child has been killed then you may have the cost of a funeral to cover, whilst if they have suffered life-changing injuries you may need to foot huge medical bills and pay for your home to be adapted, or for care costs.
Who’s to blame for your child’s accident?
In 2011, 2,412 children under the age of 16 were killed or seriously injured on the UK’s roads. This includes pedestrians, children travelling in motor vehicles and child cyclists. Figures show that the number of fatalities is decreasing year upon year, but there is still plenty we can do to reduce the number of children killed and seriously injured in road traffic accidents. It may be that your child has sustained life-changing injuries after being hit by a speeding car in wintry weather, or perhaps a driver using their mobile phone at the wheel knocked your child over as they crossed the road, leaving them permanently disabled. Serious injuries such as these impact not only your child’s life but the life of your whole family, and you deserve to claim personal injury compensation on your child’s behalf if this has happened to you.
What are the main causes of road traffic accidents in the UK?
A study of over 700,000 accidents from 2005 to 2009 revealed that the main cause of over 65% of fatal road traffic accidents was ‘driver error or reaction’. A failure to look properly and loss of control were cited as other leading factors. Travelling too fast for road conditions was to blame in a high percentage of accidents – for example you may be unable to brake in time in wet or icy conditions if you are travelling too fast and a child steps out into the road in front of you. According to figures from RoSPA, around 75% of crashes leading to injuries or fatalities occur on roads with a speed limit of 30mph or less. Did you know that vehicles travel at around three car lengths per second when they are doing 30mph, so a quick glance away is all it takes to miss seeing a child moving behind a parked car?
Has your child been injured or killed in a road traffic accident?
If road safety campaigns have failed to keep your child safe and they have been ill or injured as a result of a road traffic accident, you could make a claim for compensation with Accident Advice Helpline. Claiming compensation isn’t the right move for everybody, which is why our advisors offer confidential, no-obligation advice, to help you decide if it is the right next step for you and your family. If you have taken time off work to care for an injured child and your family’s finances have suffered as a result, a personal injury settlement could help you get back on track, with compensation for your loss of earnings. If you’ve paid a huge medical bill for treatment and/or care after your child has been injured, then making a personal injury claim could help to cover these costs.
Will I have to go to court to claim compensation after my child’s accident?
If you are claiming compensation on behalf of your child that has been injured in an accident, the good news is that most claims don’t end up in court. The majority can be processed in full over the phone, but even if you do have to go to court, you will have one of Accident Advice Helpline’s professional lawyers supporting you throughout the process. There is a three-year time limit in place to make a claim, so it’s a good idea to get in touch with us as soon as possible after your child’s accident. This way we can discuss your options with you and find out more about your reasons for making a personal injury claim.
Even if you are struggling financially, our lawyers work on a 100% no-win, no-fee basis, so you can afford to claim compensation. Why not call our freephone helpline today on 0800 689 0500 (or call 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to speak to us about your child’s accident?
Date Published: January 9, 2014
Author: David Brown