It seems like once a week we hear about a car careening into a restaurant. Luckily, in many instances no one is injured or worse. That is not always the case. Serious injuries to innocent patrons are not uncommon. Catastrophic damage can also result to the structure.
What causes a vehicle to drive into a restaurant or retail establishment?
Many causes have been reported including:
Operator mistaken hits gas instead of break
Operator thought car was in reverse to back out of parking space but was in drive
Operator was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Could something have been done to prevent the vehicle from entering the building?
Some businesses have placed barriers in front of their building to prevent such tragedies from occurring. This is not always possible. Some barriers are just not enough to prevent a fast moving 2-ton vehicle from overtaking it. Some barriers are ugly and prevent customers from wanting to go there.
Who is liable in these types of accidents?
Is the business owner liable for not adequately protecting their patrons? Is the vehicle operator responsible for all damage and/or injury? Does contingent liability ever come into play?
Could more than one party be responsible? There are many questions asked when these types of incidents occur. There are many answers. Basically, it depends on the circumstances and there can be many mitigating circumstances how any particular injury or damage occurred.
If you are involved in an incident involving a vehicle entering a building, damaging property, or causing injury, contact our experienced firm for assistance.