Can a child be guilty of contributing evidence?

John Bennett
John Bennett

Published: February 17th, 2021

7 min read

From time to time we hear about terrible injuries suffered by a child when they are hit by a car. There are regular campaigns to reduce speed limits in built-up areas. The law imposes a heavy duty on the car driver, particularly in built-up areas where children might be playing, areas around sports fields or schools. Children of different ages, with different life experiences can behave very differently. The case of Ellis V Kelly in 2018 involved a child running diagonally across the road towards the zebra crossing when he knew a car was approaching. The court commented that many children cannot judge how fast vehicles are going or how far away they are. It is even more difficult for a child of 8 to judge the stopping distance for a car or understand that, while the car should stop at the crossing, it may be travelling at such a speed that it isn't able to do so in time. The court found that this was a case of momentary misjudgement on the Childs part, balanced against the re-reckless conduct on the part of the defendant who was driving. The court felt that it would not be equitable to make a finding of contributory negligence against the child.

In another pedestrian case from 1966 a 13-year-old child was involved in an accident. The court focused on what an ordinary child of that age could be expected to have done. Contributory negligence can be difficult to assess, but the overriding view is that the driver of a car is almost always responsible for some or all the injuries sustained by a child running out in front of them.

If you or your child have been involved in a pedestrian accident contact one of the personal injury team here at Forbes solicitors. We have had years of experience in pedestrian accident claims and will always be sure to assess the situation so that you're getting exactly what you're entitled to. We will assess your accident compensation claim on a no win no fee basis and will endeavour to ensure that you receive every penny of the pedestrian accident compensation that you deserve. Here, we aim to answer any questions that you may have about your pedestrian accident claim, as well as assure you of the work we will do as a pedestrian injury solicitor to win your case.

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