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Son Hit by Car Whilst at School

(138 Posts)
vivalavida Mon 10-Dec-12 13:53:37

Several weeks ago my 12 year old son was hit by a car whilst at school. The school is split across two sites with a rarely used single track road running through the middle. This is classed as a public highway although as I say very rarely used as it is not a through road.
My son was crossing at a blind spot with other children going from one lesson to another. They were unsupervised and this is normal practice. As my son stepped out of the blind spot to see if the road was clear, he was hit by young driver in her car. The impact was enough for him to smash the windscreen and he was taken to hospital.
Very luckily he walked away with only major bruising.
After a week off school and two weeks off sport he is now almost physically recovered, however we have now received contact from the driver asking for damages.
There were no direct witnesses to the accident apart from the driver's partner who was also in the car and my son's friend who is also 12.
It is still very difficult to ascertain who is ultimately at fault and we are reluctant to enter into a conversation without advice first.
The other issue is that the school seem non-plussed about the fact that our son has been injured whilst in their care, regardless of who's fault the accident was.
I really don't want to jeopardise his education by falling out with the school as he is happy there and doing well, however, if we do pay then we are admitting liability and may leave ourselves open to future claims.
Any advice would be greatfully received.

dayshiftdoris Thu 13-Dec-12 00:47:21

I didn't pay it and had no intention...
I rang them because the letter did not tell me to forward it to my insurance company and it was worded in such a way (it mentioned 'fault') that I thought they had been told that I was the person who caused the accident.

As it was I was informed that it was worded that way as I was at 'fault' - I had damaged the council's property and no they did not care that someone else pushed me into it.

I asked if they ever check if there is a serious injury or death involved before they send out that letter and was told 'no'.

The insurer rang me when they got the letter and asked if I had informed the council that the other driver was at fault and when I explained she was shock at the attitude.

That all said - my son and I still say that bollard is 'ours' grin

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Wed 12-Dec-12 22:03:13

dayshiftdoris, you should have simply forwarded the letter onto your insurer and they'd have supplied them with the details of the responsible driver's insurance. I hope you didn't pay them.

cumfy Wed 12-Dec-12 21:04:25

Hope OP's getting legal advice.

RedHelenB Wed 12-Dec-12 07:23:37

Did you pay it?

dayshiftdoris Wed 12-Dec-12 01:05:11

Just to add...

4 yrs ago I was in an accident in the car - hit by another driver not stopping for a roundabout so hit about 25-30mph and car would have rolled had it not been for a traffic island bollard. His fault and convicted of a driving offence

The county council contacted ME for costs of damages to the bollard...

I called them to say I was not at fault and was told that they pursue the person who hit the street furniture not the person at fault. I asked what happens if it is a cyclist or pedestrian with no insurance who hits said furniture and causes damage and was told that the policy was the same regardless.
Infact her words were 'If you damage OUR property in an accident then it is YOUR responsibility to cover the cost of damage regardless of how you were traveling'.

After that NOTHING surprises me anymore with regards to traffic accidents... such a fixation on blame and recouping costs that all common sense and common decency goes out of the window!

A school on a split site is different to a college due to age of pupils. I would say that school need to get involved as actually if you were 'playing the game' you could actually claim for damages from them as they allow pupils to cross there and were responsible for him at that point.

They should have a risk assessment in place and surprised they have children crossing unsupervised.

flow4 Tue 11-Dec-12 22:34:55

I wondered that too nipersvest...

Rudolphstolemycarrots Tue 11-Dec-12 22:10:30

she was driving through the grounds of a school, she should have anticipated that there would be children crossing the road to get from one school building to another school building.

Driver should have been driving slower in order to be able to stop faster on blind corner.

SugarPasteSnowflake Tue 11-Dec-12 21:04:59

If the driver was rounding a blind corner, then she should have been moving slow enough to stop upon sight of something in the road. That's driving 101; you should be able to brake to a stop within the amount if road visible to you if you are rounding a bend. If you can't then you are going too fast.

nipersvest Tue 11-Dec-12 20:57:10

this thread is the op's one and only post, no mention of name changing. am now wondering if they've not come back as it's a reverse thread, as in the op is actually the person driving the car.

aibu seems an odd topic to post about this in.

KittyFane1 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:48:59

Arbitrary:Kitty: the driver is at fault because she was driving on a road through a school while children were moving between classes
I've read the OP again and you're right, it isn't a through road and the driver should have been more careful. Many split site schools are separated by roads with busy traffic.

PastalaFestivista Tue 11-Dec-12 20:46:01

Am wondering where the OP is? First time poster or name-changer, one post on Monday lunchtime and pfft!

cumfy Tue 11-Dec-12 20:09:20

Beaver, yes, definitely should be able to stop within range of vision.

Could have been a pram or pushchair for all the driver knew.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 11-Dec-12 18:07:57

I thought cars should always be going slow enough to do an e,regency stop and avoid kids, etc running out into the road. That's what my driveing instructor drummed into me. It's why on narrow residential streets with parked cars I may well only do 20mph or even slower, even though speed limit is 30.

Driver was going to fast if she hit someone.

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Tue 11-Dec-12 15:00:14

I think this would need raising with the school to make sure they look at things to make sure it can't happen again, which could easily have much worse consequences another time.

cumfy Tue 11-Dec-12 14:40:13

he was hit by young driver in her car

Was she a 6th former ?

flow4 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:27:55

Acky, the school has a clear duty of care while pupils are at school and travelling between lessons/sites (as opposed to truanting/sneaking off site).
There must have been a risk assessment in place for pupils getting across that road, and clear rules for the pupils. The risk assessment definitely needs reviewing in the light of this accident, because it obviously isn't working.

NotAnotherPackedLunch Tue 11-Dec-12 12:15:28

What road signs and road markings are in place to warn drivers of the school entrance and the presence of school children?
Either these need to be reviewed, or if they are already adequate then it would appear that the driver didn't pay attention to them.

Acky123 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:09:06

OP said it's a public highway.

My college was on two sites. If I or one of my mates were run over on the walk between them I can't possibly see how the college would have been to blame or responsible for damages.

Equally there was no special crossings - again, the route was a public highway.

Surely it's the pedestrian who is responsible for choosing a safe way to cross, whatever their age? Nowt to do with the school. Not saying the OP's son was in the wrong in any way.

JingleBellaTheGymnast Tue 11-Dec-12 12:05:09

But doesn't the road run through the school site? Surely they should have some measures in place for crossing, if there is a blind spot?

Seems odd that someone can bullseye a windscreen and the police are not called.

Acky123 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:03:14

Still no sign of the OP? Strange that she hasn't come back.

I can't really see how the school is at fault here - OP's son was on a public road.

Equally though I can't see how the driver can sue the son either or his parents.

Sounds like you need some legal advice - I would be checking my house insurance and seeing if there is legal cover on there.

JingleBellaTheGymnast Tue 11-Dec-12 11:57:46

Of course it's awful that a child was injured, but surely the school is at fault here? Money is really tight for us at the moment, and if my car sustained damage that meant it was undriveable due to no fault of my own we would have no option but to ask for the person/organisation at fault to pay for it. For me, that would be the school.

Not everyone has a protected no claims bonus, and the thought that the driver should be sued for someone stepping out in front of the car seems madness. Surely if there is any suing going on then both sides' complaints should be against the school?

nipersvest Tue 11-Dec-12 09:51:49

those defending the driver as it was a blind spot - point is, the driver should have recognised it as a blind spot and slowed down to a speed whereby if there was anything in the road, they would have been able to stop. she hit him, not only that, but she hit him with enough force that he, in turn, hit her windscreen. she must have been going pretty fast for that to have happened.

i am amazed by the schools lack of interest in this too. my dc's are both at primary school, and anywhere they go during school time has been involved in a risk assessment, so i would have thought this road, being within school property would have been risk assessed. is there is no official crossing place that is marked out and sign posted?

Kitty: the driver is at fault because she was driving on a road through a school while children were moving between classes (the must have been kids all over the place) and didn't think to anticipate that there might be some children crossing the road in that blind spot. As a driver you are supposed to think about these things. And you certainly don't blame the 12 year old you hit and injured and try to get compensation from him. What you do, is drive very cautiously in that sort of situation.

flow4 Tue 11-Dec-12 09:30:34

Oops, no, re-reading the OP, it says "was taken to hospital", so perhaps no ambulance... viva, did the police attend?

flow4 Tue 11-Dec-12 09:28:24

I'm sure the police will have attended. An ambulance was called. As far as I'm aware, the police automatically come to any RTA if an ambulance attends.

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