My son was hit by a car, and the man’s insurance company that hit my son told me that my son would not be compensated for his injury and they would not pay for medical bills from this accident, because my son being 10 years old knew better than to be running out in the streets.
My son never said that he was running, he was crossing the street.
–Desiree, Zion, IL
Whenever a child is struck by a car in the street, the insurance company makes the same defense. It’s the child’s fault. It’s the child’s fault. It’s the child’s fault. Desiree, they don’t care who is at fault. They only care if they can avoid paying your child for the injuries their insured caused. Because of this, it is important that you and your son not deal with the insurance company directly without a lawyer to equalize the playing field.
The issue your insurance company is raising is this – they are stating that their insured didn’t know and shouldn’t have known your child would be in the street because he secretly darted out into the street and their insured could not have avoided the accident. What the attorney’s job is to evaluate if the Defendant knew or should have known of the presence of your child.
• Was the defendant speeding?
• Is it an area frequented by children?
• Could the defendant see other children in the area?
• Were there obstacles blocking the Defendant form seeing your son?
• Was the Defendant paying attention?
• Was it a residential area?
These and about a thousand other questions are for the Defendant to answer under cross examination.
Your child has an obligation under Illinois to act as reasonable as other 10-year-old boys. He is not held to the standard of an adult. However, the operator of the vehicle is held to the standard of an adult. Through investigation and cross examination, the attorney’s job is to get to the truth and prove that the insurance company is probably hiding the truth. They almost always do, if they can get away with it.