Though a Marblehead car crash into a building is not that common, such accidents are not that rare nationwide. Statistics show that there are some 20,000 car crashes into commercial buildings, retail stores, convenience stores and residences each year or over 50 per day. Causes of such accidents vary but include:
- Intoxicated or drug impaired drivers
- Pedal confusion or error—the most prevalent cause (41%)
- Insufficient building or roadway lighting
- Lack of barriers or protective devices in front of buildings
- Fatigued drivers
- Malfunction on vehicle
An injured resident or business patron injured in such accidents may have an injury claim against the motorist as well as the business owner under premises liability principles and/or against the negligent driver of the vehicle.
Property Damage Considerations
If a car crashes into your residence or place of business, you may have homeowner’s or business insurance that covers this specific type of accident to compensate you for property damage.
Residential and business owners may also look to the defendant’s property damage coverage but it may be insufficient. Your own coverage can be used so long as it has sufficient coverage as well. If not, you may have to either use your business or homeowner’s policy unless not covered or have to file a suit against the party causing the damage.
Personal Injury in Building Car Crashes
Motorists have a duty of care to others using the highways including pedestrians and to use reasonable care when driving. Drivers breach that duty of reasonable care when they drink and drive, speed, become too tired to drive or inexplicably press the gas pedal instead of the brakes.
Business owners have a duty of care to their customers, or invitees, to routinely inspect their premises for hidden dangers, or those which are not obvious to customers, and to eliminate those dangers deemed unreasonable or to at least warn of them. Regarding a car crashing into the building or store, this may be a foreseeable incident that creates a duty on the business owner to protect against.
If similar crashes have occurred before, then such a duty does exist. It need not have necessarily occurred to this particular business, but to others in the immediate area. Convenience stores are a target since they are often open at late hours or 24 hours and are visited by drunk and fatigued motorists. A business owner may have a duty to protect against such a foreseeable incident by installing barriers in the parking area or in front of their businesses. Their failure to do so could expose them to liability.
A Marblehead car accident lawyer can explain all these options to you if you were injured in this type of accident and determine all responsible parties and sources of compensation.
Damages in a Car Crash
It is obvious that if a car crashes into your house and injures you, or if you were a business invitee and suffered injuries, then you may recover from the negligent driver. Your recovery may depend on the amount of auto liability coverage the defendant possesses. In Massachusetts, the minimum coverage is $20,000 per person injured and $40,000 per accident, which covers all injured persons. Unless you have underinsured coverage that exceeds these amounts, you may not be fully compensated for your injuries if it was serious or if there were multiple injured parties.
Marblehead car accident lawyer Neil Burns, however, can determine if other parties bear responsibility for your injuries such as the business owner who failed to erect protective devices to eliminate such a hazard or a vehicle manufacturer if a vehicle malfunction occurred.
Your damages in an injury accident include:
• Lost wages
• Lost earning capacity
• Past and future medical expenses
• Diminished quality of life
• Psychological trauma
• Pain and suffering
• Spousal loss of consortium
Retain Personal Injury Lawyer Neil Burns
Car crashes can be complicated matters even in cases where liability may seem obvious. In accidents where cars crash into residences or other buildings, there may be insurance coverage issues involving homeowner’s and business policies, underinsured compensation possibilities, property damage disputes and actions against business owners and car manufacturers, if applicable. All of these demand the skills and experience of Marblehead car accident lawyer Neil Burns of Boston, who has been representing the interests of injured victims and their families since 1985. Call Attorney Burns’ office today to discuss your injury claim.