Pedestrians know that they have to be cautious when walking on busy Atlanta streets. But did you know there is a hidden danger that many pedestrians forget about when they’re on foot? As many as 500 people are killed and 4,000 more are hurt when cars collide into buildings each year, according to the Storefront Safety Council.
On average, there are around 60 vehicle-into-building crashes (VIBCs) per day in the United States. There are a variety of explanations for these types of collisions, but most stem from operator error. In Georgia, pedestrians who are injured due to another’s recklessness may be able to obtain compensation for their medical expenses and other losses through a personal injury claim.
Who is Liable for Pedestrian Injuries — The Driver or the Building Owner?
Many storefront designs include a parking lot right outside of the entrance. The only protection to occupants inside the building may be a small guard made out of steel or concrete, or perhaps a narrow sidewalk. It only takes an accidental push on the gas pedal instead of the brakes to jump the curb, smash into the storefront, and strike unknowing pedestrians.
Pedestrians that are hurt inside a building can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for their injuries. But first, they must determine the party liable for their injuries. The most likely defendants are the driver and the building owner.
In most cases, it is driver negligence that leads to VIBCs. Age, driving under the influence, putting the car into drive instead of reverse, or distraction are all potential contributing factors.
There are also cases in which the building’s owner may be held liable. If a hazardous condition exists on the property that causes a vehicle to swerve into the building, the property owner could be at fault for failing to make necessary repairs.
Other possible causes could be a vehicle defect or flaw in the design of the parking lot. In those cases, personal injury claims would need to be brought against the manufacturer of the faulty part or the designer. Though these would be rarer explanations for a vehicle-into-building crash, it’s a good idea to speak with a skilled pedestrian accident attorney to ensure that all liable parties are identified and held accountable for your injuries.
How Can The Champion Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.C. Help Me?
When pedestrians are struck by a car, their injuries are often serious because they have little protection to shield them from harm. With a vehicle-into-building crash, the injuries could be even more severe. The impact of the car, along with the impact from any building debris or broken glass, could be a deadly combination for a pedestrian.
The Champion Firm is a full-service personal injury law firm serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. Our award-winning team of attorneys specializes in car accidents, wrongful death, premises liability, and slip-and-fall cases. Learn more about our team here.