Summer comes along with gatherings of all sorts. In the midst of a day filled with barbeque, drinks, laughter and celebration, tragedy can strike. Devastation and heartbreak became a reality in just a moment to a family on Saturday, July 20, 2013 when a 3-year-old toddler was struck by a car and killed at a baptism party on the Southwest Side of Chicago.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the boy was hit at about 10:40 p.m. Saturday in the 3900 block of West 47th Street and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center. The Cook County Medical Examiners Office reported that he was pronounced dead at 11:11 p.m.

What began as a sacred ritual of welcoming new life into the world turned into a terrible loss.

Nothing is more unsettling than reading a news story that involves a child who was killed walking across a street. Malman Law’s team of personal injury attorneys want to look out for the safety of Chicagoland and surrounding area residents. We know that summer is an opportunity for children and adults to spend most of their time enjoying the outdoors. From swimming pools to the beach to long bike rides, it can be agreed that summer is a time for everyone to enjoy themselves. Despite all of this fun, there are still possible dangers that little ones may face.

The National Highway Traffic Safety administration advocates for parents and guardians to teach their young the fundamentals of traffic safety on a routine basis. According to NHTSA data, in 2011, an estimated 69,000 pedestrians were injured. 11,000 of those injured were age 14 and younger, and males accounted for 65% (7,000) of those 11,000 injured. Children aren’t responsible for injuries sustained in accidents, which is why personal injury lawyers are available to help.

Why does this happen? What could have prevented this? Below is a list of suggestions that the NHTSA provides to prevent pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

Children are very vulnerable while crossing the street and playing outside for the following reasons:

A child’s innocent mind does not have the ability to understand that a person behind a moving vehicle can be moving at great speed and the damage an automobile can do to their fragile bodies. Sadly, a child who is hit often results in death or the child remaining in a vegetative state. Children do not have the understanding that a driver may not see the stop sign or yield sign right in front of them or that an overgrown tree branch may be blocking the driver’s view of the stop/yield sign.

Too often, in fast paced environments, drivers rush to make a yellow light or blow through a red light. In many cases, drivers are on their cell phones, talking or texting. A child’s trusting mind does not have the understanding that a person behind the wheel of an automobile, motorcycle or truck may be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication that can alter a driver’s mind. A child assumes that the driver can see them even though their little bodies are sometimes unnoticed. In cases when a child is injured because of negligent drivers, personal injury lawyers can recover compensation, helping to provide the comfort that the affected child and his or her family need.

Parental Tips

Parents, grandparents, guardians and caretakers all do their best to keep their children safe from danger. Children have every right to be outside and play as they are meant to. Incorporating basic safety principles in your everyday routine such as, “Look left-right-left for traffic,” can save a child from being struck by a reckless driver. In addition to this, never leave children unattended near streets or driveways. When there is not a sidewalk near, teach children to walk facing traffic.

Most community governments offer safety programs for children. Check your local community website to see if it offers traffic safety classes for children. If so, make it a fun day for children to enjoy and learn about pedestrian safety. And most of all, hold hands, have fun, and enjoy summer!

Here at the Law Offices of Steven J. Malman, we advocate for children’s rights to play outside and enjoy outdoor activities. Children should never have this right taken from them because of a negligent driver. We have dealt with a variety of personal injury cases including car accident injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, burns, internal injuries and bruises. For families that have lost a loved one due to a negligent /careless driver, we also handle wrongful death claims and lawsuits. Our team of personal injury attorneys at Malman Law is here to assist you with your legal needs. Contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation.