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School sued for premises liability after car accident

When you think of car accidents, you probably do not think about premises liability cases -- usually, those are reserved for slips, trips and falls, aren't they? In truth, injuries suffered from car accidents may be eligible for premises liability compensation, depending on the nature of the case. The family of an elementary school student on the West Coast is suing a school district, for instance, after the youngster was struck by a 90-year-old woman behind the wheel.

The incident in question occurred in December 2015, when the elderly driver activated the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal while attempting to park. The driver lost control of the vehicle, running over a curb and injuring a group of second-grade students in the accident. One of the victims was pinned beneath the vehicle. He suffered serious physical and emotional injuries, according to news reports.

So, why is the family suing the school for premises liability? They are also seeking compensation from the driver, but the child's parents think the school is at fault because teachers directed students to congregate in an unsafe location. The lawsuit argues that pedestrian barriers were not present to protect the children from oncoming parking lot traffic.

This type of incident is entirely possible in our Rhode Island communities, even for younger drivers. Municipalities and government agencies may face premises liability action if they do not take adequate precautions to limit dangerous property conditions. Although we often think of premises liability cases with regards to wet floors or icy sidewalks, the fact is that any hazardous condition could trigger consequences for a negligent property owner. These negligent entities should be held accountable for injuries related to their dangerous property conditions.

Source: Santa Maria Sun, "Alice Shaw student run over by car on campus sues district for premises liability," Brenna Swanston, Jan. 25, 2017

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