This is one of the first issues that I, as a personal injury lawyer in Virginia Beach, VA, thought when I read that a 7-year old had been struck and killed by a car on Lynnhaven Parkway.The answer is that children between 7 and 14 years of age are presumed not to be capable of carelessness for which they could be held legally liable. At most, elementary schoolaged children can only be assumed to know what an ordinary kid of the same age would know and, therefore, can only be assumed to act as a child would act.
The young girl who lost her life in te August 12, 2011, pedestrian accident was spending the summer at her aunt's house in Virginia Beach and was with a group of children who were on their way to a convenience store at around 9:15 pm. The accident occurred when the group started to cross Lynnhaven Parkway. The rest of the children stopped as a car approached. The eldest child in the group was only 12.
The investigation is ongoing, and no charges hve been filed against the driver who is no doubt traumatized by the car accident.
Anytime there is a pedestrian accident, I like to remind the public to, if at all possible, take the time to use a crosswalk. Although my firm has represent clients injured while walking in a crosswalk, the marked street crossing do offer a measure of protection. But the best advice I can give anyone trying to cross a street is to look both ways before stepping off te curb and to take the most direct path across. Also, never assume that someone will stop for you. Distracted drivers cause many pedestrian accidents; pedestrians need to watch out for themselves when drivers may not.
There is no doubt a lot of blame and finger-pointing going around about who is responsible for the death of the little girl. But as experienced Virginia wrongful death lawyers, my colleagues and I know that none of that will bring the child back. When a child dies it is often the most devastating and terrible event that a parent can go through.
Any time we take a case, the wrongful death of a child exacts a toll on us as well. We have served the best interest of many families who have gone through this tragic situation. Along with serving the families of our young victims we have also created a consumer guide to help anyone who has found themselves in this difficult situation: Child Injury Guide: What To Do If Child Gets Hurt in an Accident.