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Who is at Fault When a Car Crashes into a Building in Harrisburg, PA?

car crash with building on sidewalkThere are many different types of car accidents, including some that involve the surrounding environment, like nearby buildings. These accidents are often caused by impaired drivers or those who mistakenly hit the accelerator. Elderly drivers are also at risk for these collisions, as they may have impaired vision and delayed reaction time.

You may think these collisions are rare, and in some ways, they are. However, these collisions happen approximately 100 times each day, according to the Storefront Safety Council.

Below, Schmidt Kramer’s experienced Harrisburg auto accident lawyers discuss liability when a car crashes into a building. We also explain what victims should do after this type of collision, whether they were in another car or were a pedestrian.

Call us today to schedule a free legal consultation: (717) 727-2089.

How do These Accidents Occur?

These are the main reasons why cars crash into buildings:

Pedal Error

Pedal error means the driver intended to hit the brake but hit the accelerator instead. Often, these drivers are parked when it happens. These drivers are often elderly or impaired by alcohol. Young, inexperienced drivers may also be at higher risk for these types of collisions.

Impairment by Drugs or Alcohol

Impaired drivers may lose control of their vehicles in parking lots, residential areas, or urban areas where buildings are close to the road. They may cause collisions that send other vehicles into buildings.

Operator Error

Drivers may be distracted and not see where they are going or how fast they are traveling. Drivers may look up and realize they are about to get into an accident, so they swerve to avoid it. This could cause them to veer into a building.

Medical Emergency

Drivers who experience a heart attack, stroke, seizure or other medical emergency could crash into a building because they lost control of their car.

Which Driver Could Be at Fault For the Accident?

Often, the driver who crashed into the building is at fault because it was his or her negligence that led to the collision. The driver lost control of the vehicle, either because of distraction, drugs or alcohol, drowsiness, or an error, like hitting the accelerator at the wrong time.

There are times when another driver may be to blame. For example, the other driver may have crashed into you, and this caused you to crash into a building. The other driver may be 100 percent at fault, or you may be partially at fault because you may have been able to take steps to avoid the building.

If the driver suffered a medical emergency, he or she may still be at fault. The driver may have experienced warning signs of a medical emergency and decided not to get off the road. The driver may have experienced the issue before and should not have been behind the wheel. The only way the driver could avoid liability is if he or she could prove there was no reason to suspect a medical emergency would occur.

Liability is going to depend on the unique details of the situation. If you were injured and you think another driver may be at fault, our experienced lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation, whether you were in a car or were a pedestrian.

Victims may be able to seek compensation from the liable driver’s car insurance policy. This includes pedestrians.

Sometimes the building is unstable because of another party’s negligence, such as the party that built the building. Even though there was a collision, it may have been reasonable to expect the building to hold up better than it did.

Those inside the store may also claim the crash could have been prevented by having barriers in front of the building. You have likely seen these types of barriers in front of grocery stores and convenience stores. They are meant to prevent cars from crashing into the storefront.

What Should You Do After the Collision?

Your first step is to get out of the building, as you do not want the building to come crashing down on you or the car. This could lead to further injury, including potentially fatal injuries. There may be a risk of a gas leak that could cause a fire or explosion.

You do not want to be inside your car if parts of the building fall onto your vehicle. This could cause the roof of your car to cave in, causing a traumatic brain injury or other severe injury.

Your next step is to call the police. Crashes that result in injury and significant property damage must be reported to the police. You should assume you suffered an injury, even if you do not feel much pain.

You need to get medical care right away, as you do not want your injuries to worsen. Immediate treatment helps to link your injuries to the collision. Even though it may seem obvious how your injuries occurred, insurance companies may deny any connection to the crash.

Victims should also contact an experienced lawyer, as these crashes can be complicated, and you need an experienced advocate who is committed to pursuing full compensation for your damages.

Contact Schmidt Kramer Today

Were you injured in a crash caused by a driver running into a building?

Whether you are another driver, a pedestrian or someone who was inside the building at the time of the collision, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages.

Schmidt Kramer has secured millions for crash victims, and we represent our clients at no upfront cost. We are not paid unless our clients get paid and the initial consultation is free of charge.

Call us today to learn more. Phone: (717) 727-2089.