My 5-Year Old was Hit by a Car. Can I Sue for Medical Bills?



My 3-year-old had just crossed the street as I had told them to do, to come home from a friend’s house, and my 5-year-old was coming across the street as I was watching her. No one saw the car coming from the other end of the street. This is a dead end street, and there are kids all over the place.
The car struck my daughter, and she landed onto the side of the car, and her bike flew under the car. She landed on her face, and then started to crawl to me. I stopped her and made her lay still until the ambulance could come.
She went to the hospital, where she had many bruises and bumps, and had cut the inside of her lip very bad and it was swollen. She has to wear a soft cast on her neck, because she has fractured her neck. She was prescribed medicine for her pain. She will be out of school and daycare for at least 10 days, and i will not be able to go to work.
I have no idea how to handle this. The lady that hit her lives just a couple of houses down, and knows that there are kids playing in this area all the time. She even stated that her boyfriend or some man had told her just as she was leaving that there were kids playing in the road. They were not my kids, but someone else’s, but still, she should have been a little more attentive.
She never even showed a little bit of sorrow or empathy, to even ask if she could pay the doctor’s bills, or if the baby was okay.

–Mary, Lexington KY


Your child is very lucky to have survived with comparatively minor injuries. I just tried a jury case last February where the minor who wasn’t so lucky was awarded $1.8 million. That minor was 14 years old. In Illinois, since your child was three (i.e., less than seven), she would be incapable of comparative negligence (or being blamed). That is Illinois law. I cannot speak for Kentucky law.
The arguments you have made about the defendant knowing about children in the street and the street being frequented by children are good, relevant and on-point arguments. They are exactly the arguments the attorney must press with a jury.
Here, the driver probably had the right of way, since your child was J-walking. However, the driver must still exercise reasonable care to avoid children. Since your child cannot be at fault, the case is a reasonable one.
Your next step. Hire a lawyer.