Each day, about 60 vehicles crash into commercial buildings in California and all across the United States. We often read stories about a car crashing into a restaurant, grocery store or office, injuring and killing people inside and outside, but we tend to think that this is not going to happen to us.
In many cases, the vehicle-into-building accidents are caused by impaired drivers. In other cases, these crashes occur due to distracted driving. Regardless of whether you are the driver who drove into the building or someone who was inside the building and got injured, the damages from these accidents can climb as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Today, we invited our Los Angeles premises liability attorney from the Compass Law Group, LLP, to outline some of the most common causes of vehicle-into-building collisions as well as ways to prevent them.
Causes of vehicle-into-building crashes
Causes of this type of accidents in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California can vary greatly, but the most common are:
- Drunk driving (drivers operating vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol, especially at night)
- Distracted driving (drivers who take their eyes off the road, usually to check their cell phone)
- Poor design of the building and lack of building codes
- Poor visibility in the area
- Driver error (slamming the gas pedal instead of the brake, or putting the car into “drive” rather than “reverse”)
- Crash-and-grab theft
- The vehicle was sent careening into the building as a result of a road crash
How the property owner can be held liable
While many of these crashes occur due to the driver’s negligence or recklessness, they could be prevented if the owners of commercial buildings did not orient their entrances toward the street or parking lot.
In some cases, you and your experienced premises liability attorney in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California may be able to sue the owner of the commercial building for the vulnerabilities in his or her building’s design. Under California’s premises liability law, owners of commercial property have a legal duty to ensure the safety of their customers and visitors.
When and if any safety issues are detected and they contribute to a vehicle-into-building crash, the negligent owner of the property may be held liable for your injuries and damages. Obviously, you would still be suing the at-fault driver who caused the crash in the first place.
“The more people you can sue for causing a car accident, the bigger the amount you can recover as part of your settlement or verdict,” explains our Los Angeles premises liability attorney.
How to prevent vehicle-into-building accidents
Apart from the obvious tips such as never drive under the influence and do not get distracted if you are operating a vehicle, it is also good to keep in mind that hitting the gas pedal instead of the brake can be lethal, and never park your car in a hurry – always take your time with it.
Also, do not forget that the value of your personal injury settlement could skyrocket if you can establish the property owner’s liability in a vehicle-into-building crash. Consult with our personal injury lawyers at the Compass Law Group, LLP to find out your legal options.