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Who Is Liable When a Person Is Hit by a Car in Front of a Store?

Posted on in Personal Injury

While people are aware that many car accidents occur every day, one type of accident that people may not realize is common involves vehicles crashing into buildings. These are known as storefront crashes, and they occur when drivers lose control of their vehicles and collide with the entrances of buildings such as gas stations, convenience stores, or grocery stores. In some cases, storefront crashes are committed intentionally in an attempt to rob a store or because a person experiencing road rage wishes to cause damage. Because these locations have high levels of foot traffic, storefront crashes are likely to result in dangerous pedestrian accidents. People injured in these types of accidents will need to determine who can be held liable for their injuries and damages.

How Common are Storefront Crashes?

A vehicle crashing into the front of a building may seem like a relatively rare event. However, these accidents take place far more often than many people realize. According to research by the Storefront Safety Council, a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness of these accidents and ensure that the proper measures are taken to protect people's safety, more than 100 storefront crashes occur every day across the United States. 46 percent of these crashes result in injuries, and 8 percent result in fatalities. This adds up to more than 16,000 people being injured every year, as well as 2,600 deaths.

Who Is Liable for Storefront Crashes?

As with most car accidents, the at-fault driver in a storefront crash may be liable for causing injuries to others. That is, a driver who acted negligently and lost control of their vehicle or who purposely collided with a storefront will be responsible for causing injuries to others. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding a collision, the store's owner may also be liable for failing to protect the safety of those who were injured on their premises.

Property owners have a duty of care to protect the safety of people who are authorized to visit their property, and this duty extends to customers who enter a store. Because storefront crashes are a known safety issue, stores should take steps to minimize the risk of injury. This can be done by installing bollards in front of a building's entrances. These sturdy metal or concrete posts should be anchored into the ground, and if they function correctly, they will stop a vehicle before it collides with a building or strikes a person near the entrance of a store. A store that fails to install bollards or make sure they can effectively protect people's safety may be held liable for the injuries of patrons in storefront crashes.

In one recent case, a man in Chicago who lost both of his legs in a storefront crash at a 7-Eleven store received a $91 million settlement from the company. During the case, records from 7-Eleven were uncovered showing that more than 6,000 storefront crashes took place at the company's stores over the past 15 years. Because this is an ongoing concern that continues to affect people's safety, the store should have taken the proper measures to protect customers. Due to its failure to do so at the location in question, the company was responsible for compensating the victim for his damages.

Contact Our Milwaukee Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

When pedestrian accidents occur, there are a variety of factors that may determine who was responsible for a victim's injuries and who can be held liable for their damages. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we provide representation for people injured in these types of accidents, helping them identify all potential sources of compensation and ensuring they take the correct steps to recover the compensation they deserve. To learn more about how we can help with these cases, contact our Milwaukee, WI pedestrian accident attorneys at 414-271-1440.




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