Liability for Pedestrian Injuries when a Vehicle Jumps a Curb

If you are struck and injured by a vehicle that jumped a curb while walking or standing on a sidewalk you certainly have an injury case against the driver and owner of the vehicle.

What if you are hit and hurt while using an ATM machine along a sidewalk, or standing at an outdoor takeout window, or in line waiting to enter a restaurant?

Of course you still have a personal injury case against the vehicle, but also keep in mind you may have a case against the business who put the ATM machine too close to the road, or the restaurant that placed a takeout window unsafely close to passing cars or forced a line of patrons outside too close to traffic.

A 1971 California case titled Barker v. Wah Law involved a customer standing at a drive-in restaurant’s walk-up window awaiting service when he was hit by a car that jumped a wooden bumper stop.  The Court of Appeals stated that several factors should be considered when determining whether or not the business should be liable for injuries to the pedestrian, including: Had the restaurant invited customers to stand awaiting service at a location near where vehicles pass, or parked, without providing adequate safeguards.

A 1994 California case, Jefferson v. Quik Korner Market, ruled in favor of the market in a lawsuit brought by a pedestrian-customer hit by a vehicle on an adjacent sidewalk, but the court determined several important factors to consider in future, similar cases, including:

– Had the business provided any barriers to protect customers from traffic?

– Did the business know of prior incidents, barriers or no barriers, of vehicles unsafely close to pedestrian customers?

– Did the business require customers to stand in a place awaiting service, on a sidewalk adjacent to traffic, that might foreseeably be risky?

A more recent case, Robison v. Six Flags Theme Parks, determined that although no prior incidents had occurred, the danger was apparent in view of the close proximity between a parking lot and picnic area.  The court in that case determined that Magic Mountain had a duty to take reasonable measures to protect patrons even though there had been no prior incidents.  So although no history of prior similar incidents existed, the court stated that businesses still had a responsibility to protect its customers from foreseeable harm.

If you would like to discuss your injuries with a personal injury lawyer, please contact my office.  You can do so via my website or simply call us at 916.921.6400.  You can also learn more about by firm, the Edward A Smith Law Offices, by reading reviews on Google, Yelp and AVVO.