Vehicle-into-Building Auto Accidents in Florida: Causes, Liability, and Recovery
While car crashes into buildings are not as common as other motor vehicle collisions, they cause an estimated more than $200 million each year in property damage and personal injury claims. According to Ameriprise, there are approximately 60 vehicle-into-building crashes each day.
Since a vehicle crashing into a building is not a typical auto accident scenario that involves two cars, it can be difficult to determine liability if your home was damaged or you suffered injuries in a vehicle-into-building accident. Our West Palm Beach auto accident attorney can establish fault and pursue compensation from the available sources.
Why Do Vehicle-Into-Building Crashes Occur?
Each year, approximately 500 Americans are killed as a result of cars crashing into buildings, according to Ameriprise. That is more than the annual fatalities from earthquakes, tornadoes, and lightning combined. Typically, these crashes involve retail stores (24%), commercial buildings (23%), and restaurants (19%).
There are several reasons for vehicle-into-building accidents in West Palm Beach and other parts of Florida. The most common causes of why cars crash into retail stores, commercial buildings, restaurants, offices, and other buildings are:
- Pedal error, 28% (when the motorist accidentally or mistakenly presses the gas pedal instead of the brake or his/her foot slips)
- Operator error, 28% (caused by fatigued or drowsy driving, distractions, or failure to drive safely for road or weather conditions)
- Driving under the influence, 18%
- Traffic accidents, 11% (the force of impact in a car crash can send a vehicle flying into a nearby building)
- A medical emergency, 8% (the driver suffers a medical emergency and loses consciousness while driving)
- Burglary, 7% (criminals crash into a building to commit the so-called “ram-raid” robbery)
Vehicle-into-Building Accident in West Palm Beach
This past week, the Palm Beach Gardens Fire Department was dispatched to remove a car that hit a building in the Bristol Club Community. Before crashing into the house, the vehicle slammed into a cement wall, according to WPBF.
One person was taken to the hospital, while no one was inside the home at the time of the vehicle-into-building crash.
Although most of these crashes are the result of the operator or pedal error, auto collisions involving buildings can be prevented by owners of commercial buildings and retail stores. Many property owners and occupiers in West Palm Beach know that vehicle-into-building crashes are a major public safety issue. In fact, it is not uncommon for buildings that lack adequate safety mechanisms to be struck by vehicles multiple times.
When the property owner has been made aware of a safety issue, it is their duty to address and fix the problem to minimize the risk of similar accidents. Failure to do so may constitute partial or full liability in future crashes.
However, the driver of the vehicle that slammed into a building is typically at fault in the vast majority of such crashes. Liability in these accidents depends on what caused the collision. Our West Palm Beach auto accident lawyers can investigate who is at fault to help you recover damages, including pain and suffering. Contact Pike & Lustig, LLP, to request a consultation.