Two Florida families are taking legal action against a daycare their children attended in April 2014, when a vehicle crashed into the side of the daycare structure, killing one girl and injuring several other children.
Although undoubtedly one could find fault on the part of the motor vehicle driver who left the roadway and smashed into the building, Broward injury lawyers know it’s imperative to explore every angle and identify all possible defendants. This is for two reasons:
- Ultimately maximizing the pool of insurance money available to plaintiffs, for a better chance of recovering full compensation;
- Eliminating the chances a court may find a non-party was partially liable (as you can’t recover from defendants whom you haven’t named in the claim).
In this case, plaintiffs allege the daycare should be held liable for the children’s injuries because they failed to put in place proper barriers around the school to prevent such incidents. The parking lot was angled heading into the building, making such a collision more likely. Additionally, plaintiffs cited several other accidents at out-of-state facilities (in Washington state and New Jersey) owned by this same chain wherein the same kind of accidents occurred. This fact, plaintiffs allege, make these accidents foreseeable.
Plaintiffs allege the company had a special relationship to the children (which is a legal term, meaning it creates a duty of care) which made them responsible to take reasonable steps to keep these young kids safe from danger – specifically safe from a rouge vehicle crashing into a building.
Although it might seem as if a collision into the side of a building is an extremely random incident, history paints another picture. As noted by the Storefront Safety Council, vehicles crash into buildings at least 60 times in the U.S. daily, resulting in 4,000 injuries and an estimated 500 deaths a year. The breakdown of these building smash-ins goes like this:
- 24 percent – Retail stores
- 23 percent – Commercial buildings
- 19 percent – Restaurant
- 7 percent – Convenience store
- 7 percent – Office
Of course, as this case shows, these incidents are limited to these type of buildings. Hospitals, homes, gas stations – all have been struck by vehicles at some point or another. As our Broward injury attorneys can explain, it is precisely because these incidents are so prevalent that those who own and operate these buildings should be aware of the possibility and take reasonable precautions to prevent the foreseeable risk of injury or death to innocent customers, employees or those in their care.
Nearly one third of drivers in these cases (from 2014 to 2017) are under the age of 30. (The driver in this particular incident was 32.) Another 33 percent are drivers over the age of 70.
In terms of cause, the council reports:
- 30 percent – operator error
- 26 percent – pedal error
- 17 percent – DUI
- 11 percent – traffic accident
- 8 percent – medical emergency
- 7 percent – other
There are some places for which buffers are required, either as part of a corporate policy or industry best practice, or because in some cases, local regulations are requiring it. For example, Miami-Dade County approved a barrier law in 2012, after the death of a woman who was seven-months pregnant when she was struck by a vehicle as she sat on a bench in front of a store at a shopping center. Orange County has explored this option too, after this particular incident.
Barriers are known to be a relatively simple way to prevent these incidents from becoming tragic, and they can also help businesses drive down repair costs too.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Families sue day care in accident that killed girl, March 30, 2018, By David Harris, Orlando Sentinel
More Blog Entries:
Florida Senate Brake-Checks Texting-and-Driving Bill, March 15, 2018, Broward Personal Injury Attorney Blog