My family was going to a Grafton restaurant where there is an attendant directing patrons into and out of the limited number of parking spaces on the side and rear of the restaurant. We had parked our car and were heading into the restaurant. Our 3 year old son had wiggled out of my hand and got hit by a car backing out of it’s parking space, as directed by the parking lot attendant. Thankfully he suffered only a broken leg, but we were wondering if we have a personal injury case against either the attendant or the restaurant? We’ve had over $7K in medical costs and my wife has had to take an extended leave from work to care for him.
First of all, your son’s medical expenses should have been covered by the driver’s auto insurance under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits because he was a pedestrian. Next, there are several factors that go into evaluating the potential claims against the restaurant and the parking attendant. The relationship between the restaurant and the attendant is critical to a determination whether the restaurant is liable for the actions or negligence of the attendant. If the attendant works directly for the restaurant, then it would be liable for his negligence under the theory of respondeat superior rather than the attendant being liable to you. If he does not work directly for the restaurant, but has some other type of arrangement with the restaurant, then that relationship would have to be examined to determine if the restaurant still had responsibility for his actions or for certain activities in the parking lot. If the restaurant is not liable under respondeat superior for the attendant’s negligence, then you may have a claim directly against the attendant. Some other factors in evaluating the claims would be whether your son was visible to the attendant, whether you were comparatively negligent in allowing your son to get away, whether you warned the attendant of your son’s danger, and whether there was an opportunity for the attendant to avoid the injury once your son got away. The driver may also have some liability for your son’s injury based upon some of the same factors.
Grafton Personal Injury Lawyers at Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, PC represents clients in personal injury claims in Grafton and throughout Worcester County including the communities of Worcester, Shrewsbury, Northborough, Westborough, Upton, Northbridge, and Millbury.