The Case About the Insurance Company That Sued a Nine-Year-Old Boy

On January 13, 2006, a nine-year-old boy was riding his bicycle on Plum Street in Erie, Pennsylvania. As he peddled, an elderly woman was driving her car west on 11th Street and approaching its intersection with Plum Street. The elderly driver had the right of way at the intersection, but she also had a duty to look out for little kids and she had a clear view of Plum. She should have seen our nine-year-old client on his bicycle.

Despite her clear view, the elderly motorist drove her car into our young bicyclist and failed even to brake before hitting him. She explained that she never saw the bicyclist and stopped later only because she felt a “bump.”

Our young client had several injuries, include a life-threatening skull fracture. Fortunately, all of those injuries healed with time — but the early going was extremely frightening and the recovery was painful for the boy and for his mother. The elderly driver was not harmed, although our client (or his bicycle) put a dent in her bumper.

Amazingly, this case came to us because the elderly driver’s insurance company filed a lawsuit against the nine-year-old boy and his mother for the damage caused to the elderly driver’s car! The insurance company actually tried to convince our client’s mother to sign a release before she had a chance to consult with a lawyer and without paying a dime for the boy’s injuries. Fortunately, our client’s mom suspected that the insurance company wasn’t being fair to her. So, she came to us for help.

Shortly after our involvement, the insurance company dropped their lawsuit against the boy and his mother. Not long after that, the insurance company agreed to pay a settlement to the boy.

Awarded: Confidential

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