June 12, 2018

Driveway Accidents: Who’s Responsible When Kids Get Hurt?

Driveway Accidents

No matter how careful a driver is, accidents can occur at any time. While we often think of accidents as occurring on highways or at busy intersections, they can occur in our own driveways, too. Tragically, children are all-too-often the victims of driveway accidents. In fact, an estimated 50 children per week in the U.S. are victims of such backup accidents in driveways or parking lots, resulting in a staggering 13,000 injuries and 232 fatalities every year.

Children may not be aware of the dangers of playing in front of, behind, or under automobiles. Because children are small, they can go unnoticed until it is too late. With warmer temperatures upon us here in Wisconsin, the risk of driveway accidents is greater than times of the year, simply because more children are playing outside.

When it comes to determining legal liability for a driveway accident, it’s natural to think that the person driving the vehicle is at fault. However, it’s not always that simple; others can bear liability too.

Who Else Could be Liable?

  • Homeowner or Business Owner Responsibility. In some accidents, the property owner in whose driveway or parking lot the accident happened can be legally liable. For example, if a homeowner was negligent in maintaining the driveway, or didn’t maintain a clear line of sight for drivers, and if that negligence contributed to or caused the accident, that homeowner might have some responsibility.
  • Product or Vehicle Manufacturer Liability. In some instances, the automobile manufacturer or the company that made certain parts or components can be liable for driveway accidents. For example, a manufacturer could be at fault if a faulty sensor or camera led to an incident where a child was run over.
  • Driver of the Vehicle. Of course, in most cases, liability rests with the person driving the vehicle that struck a child in a driveway accident. Wisconsin drivers are expected to exercise caution and care in their actions. Whether a driver was distracted by a cell phone or other mobile device, was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, swerved from the vehicle’s normal trajectory, or simply didn’t verify first that the pathway was clear before backing up, the presumption is generally that the driver was at fault.

GCW Lawyers Can Help You Pursue Justice After a Driveway Accident

If the unthinkable happens to you, and your child is injured or killed in a driveway accident, contact the experienced, compassionate attorneys at GCW Lawyers. With offices in Madison, Milwaukee, and Eau Claire, we have experience representing clients across the state in the pursuit of justice. We’ll work to help you obtain the best possible result based on the circumstances of your case while you focus on your child’s recovery and healing process. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today.

Nationally Recognized Personal Injury Lawyers