Can a Business Owner Be Liable for a Building Strike?

Can a Business Owner Be Liable for a Building Strike?While many drivers and the general public may not be aware of how common building strikes are, business owners, building owners, and property managers should be informed about potential accidents that could occur to their building, storefront, or parking lot as well as how to prevent them from happening.

A building strike is when a vehicle crashes into a building. The building may be a small business, restaurant, store, gas station, large mall, laundromat, mechanic shop, movie theater, and more. According to the Storefront Safety Council, 100 of these incidents happen every single day, close to 3,000 people die annually, and 16,000 individuals are injured each year due to these types of accidents. Therefore, while it may seem bizarre that a car could drive right through your business while people are simply enjoying a nice meal or getting their car worked on, these accidents tend to happen more frequently than you think.

If your building lacks the proper safety barriers, it can be struck multiple times. This means that it is often in the business or building owner’s best interest to address the issues and install the appropriate safety mechanisms to prevent any possible car accidents from occurring.

Who usually strikes buildings?

The Storefront Crash Expert shows that elderly drivers who are over the age of 60 (38%) are most likely to be involved in building strikes. However, it appears that drivers of all ages have a pretty equal chance at striking a building, as 29% of individuals under 30, and 33% of individuals between the ages of 30 and 60, are involved in building strikes. It is also interesting to point out that retail stores and restaurants were the most common types of storefronts and buildings to be struck, according to the data collected.

Reasons that drivers strike buildings

While there are various reasons that drivers strike buildings, some reasons are more common than others, such as:

  • Driver mistakes
  • Pedal errors
  • Driving while drunk or intoxicated
  • Traffic accidents
  • Medical emergencies
  • Robberies
  • Speeding
  • Inadequate or poor lighting
  • Road design
  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy or fatigue driving
  • Inclement weather
  • Vehicular assault, road rage, or aggressive driving
  • Careless or reckless driving

Recent building and storefront accidents near Kansas City, Missouri

The popular chain store, 7-Eleven, experiences a building strike every single day across America. However, several other businesses have become victims of building strikes around Missouri, including:

  • Conoco Gas Station: In April 2023, a juvenile driver crashed into a gas station around 12:00 p.m. in Kirksville, MO. He was trying to hit a woman with his vehicle and instead struck the gas station. He fled the scene but was later found. No injuries were reported, and the gas station experienced minor damage.
  • Panera Bread: In April 2023, a car crashed into a Panera Bread dining room in Springfield, MO. Two people who were in the restaurant at the time of the crash suffered minor injuries. However, the driver of the car was unharmed.
  • Wendy’s: In March 2023, a car crashed into the side of a Wendy’s in Warrensburg, MO around 8:00 p.m. Several people were injured and taken to a nearby emergency department.
  • Hearts of Fire Tattoo Shop: In January 2023, an SUV crashed into a tattoo business located in Springfield, MO around 7:00 a.m., smashing a glass window and hitting a fire hydrant close by. There were no injuries reported, but the tattoo shop stated that this was their second time experiencing a building strike within the past year.
  • Diane’s Cutting Edge Salon: In January 2023, a car crashed into a hair salon located in Joplin, MO. The crash occurred around 10:00 a.m. when the driver was trying to parallel park. They put their foot on the gas instead of the brake, sending them directly through the building. No injuries were reported, but the window and pane were broken.
  • Anchor Island Coffee: In September 2022, a pickup truck struck a coffee shop in Kansas City, MO. No one was hurt, but the coffee business was significantly damaged. The two people who were in the pickup truck fled the scene.

What are the most common injuries that individuals suffer from building strikes?

When a motor vehicle crashes into a building, the driver and passengers are not the only ones at risk of injuries. In fact, employees, shoppers, or visitors in the store or business that is struck can suffer severe injuries as well. Here is a list of the most common injuries that all individuals involved in building strikes may suffer:

Can a business owner be liable for a building strike?

Determining liability for building strikes can be extremely difficult. The driver of the vehicle who goes through the building is most likely liable for the crash. However, if you can prove that the business owner was negligent, you may have a case. In addition, if the business owner was informed about certain safety mechanisms that they could have implemented or installed to prevent an accident from occurring but failed to do so, this could also result in liability for the accident.

Tips to prevent building strikes in Kansas and Missouri

While it may seem like a lost cause to prevent building strikes from happening, there are several different tips you can follow to protect your building or business, which includes:

  • Installing and putting in place a few bollards that will stop a car before it reaches or enters your storefront or building
  • Adding extra lighting around your business and parking lot to ensure that drivers can see it at night
  • Adding extra parking spaces or finding new solutions to update and fix your parking lot
  • Installing and putting in place speed bumps to prevent drivers from speeding around your building

While these cases can be intricate, hiring a car accident lawyer from Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys can simplify the process for you. Our car accident attorneys will answer any of your questions and concerns, explain the legal options you may pursue, help you collect the proper evidence to support your claim, and provide advice on how to secure the best outcome possible.

Call the office of Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys or submit our contact form today to begin working with a professional team of lawyers who will go above and beyond to ensure that the process remains as smooth and stress-free as possible for you. We will be glad to meet with you at our main office in Kansas City, MO at any time, or you can schedule a free and convenient appointment at our other office locations in Lee’s Summit, Parkville and St. Joseph (MO); Olathe, Kansas City, and Overland Park (KS).