In mid-April, a six member Price George’s County jury awarded $90 million in damages, including medical expenses and funeral costs, to the family of a girl who was killed after being hit by a car in 2009. The victim, Ashley Davis was 13 years old at the time of the fatal motor vehicle accident. She was struck by a motor vehicle on her way to her school bus stop in Temple Hills, Maryland. The same motor vehicle also hit a 17 year old student and another car.
School district violated its policy requiring that students be picked up on their own side of the road.
According to the family’s attorney, the school district acted negligently and the accident could have been avoided if they had adhered to their own transportation safety policy. Prior to the accident that took Davis’ life, the school district had adopted a policy that required students to be picked up on their own side of the street. However, the school district did not follow this policy. Instead, Davis had to cross the street in order to be picked up by the school bus. It was during one of these crossings that she was struck and killed by a motor vehicle.
The jury’s award of $90 million is one of the highest amounts awarded in this type of case nationwide. A spokesman for the Prince George’s County school system declined to comment, citing that they had yet to make a final determination regarding how the school district plans to proceed. However, they are expected to appeal this decision.
Children are the most likely victims of pedestrian fatalities.
While pedestrian fatalities have declined within recent years, they continue to effect many families every year. Pedestrian injuries are the leading cause of death amongst children between the ages of 5 and 14 in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control more than 500 child pedestrians are killed every year. In addition, over 33,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for pedestrian injuries.
Approximately 70 percent of these fatalities involve a motor vehicle. In 2010, one out of every five children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed in a motor vehicle related accident was a pedestrian.
Given these statistics, it is not surprising that traffic safety is cited as the second most common reason why parents refuse to allow their children to walk to and from school.
If your child has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, you should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney will be able to review the facts of your case to determine whether you have a claim against the driver or another individual or entity for your losses. If so, your attorney will be able to initiate a case on your behalf and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
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