The Limited Standard of Care of a Child
Q: Who is at fault when a child runs into the street and is hit by a car?
A: Children are held to a different and more limited standard of care during their encounters with motor vehicles on public streets. Unlike an adult pedestrian who has the duty to exercise ordinary care when encountering traffic or crossing the street, children must simply exercise that degree of care that would reasonably be expected of a child-like age, experience, and intelligence. Therefore, in determining whether a child’s actions amounted to negligence, the jury must first consider the child's age, mental capacity, and experience. The ultimate question for the jury is whether the particular child, given her individual limitations, showed the level of care that reasonably should be expected of her.