Liability if a Car Crashes Into a Building in Minnesota

When a car loses control and crashes into a building, the injuries and property damage can be devastating. While the vehicle occupants could be severely injured, those inside the building are also at risk of severe injuries.

Below, TSR Injury Law’s Minneapolis car crash lawyers explain common causes of these types of crashes and who may be held liable. Although drivers are typically the only liable party, property owners and other entities may bear fault.

If you were injured in a car crash, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries. Our legal team is here to support you during this challenging time and help you recover the compensation you deserve. Since 1998, our attorneys have advocated for injury victims and their families throughout Minnesota, recovering millions on their behalf.

Call to schedule your free legal consultation: (612) TSR-TIME.

Why Do Cars Crash Into Buildings?

There are numerous reasons why cars crash into buildings. These are some of the most common causes:

Driver Error

This is probably the number one reason why drivers crash into buildings, like convenience stores or grocery stores. Oftentimes, a driver will confuse his or her gas pedal for the brakes while backing out of or pulling into a parking spot.

While any driver could make this type of mistake, elderly or new drivers may be more likely to hit the gas instead of the accelerator.

Reckless Driving

We have all seen drivers who speed through parking lots or residential areas. Speeding increases the risk of losing control of your vehicle, especially when hazardous situations arise. For example, a speeding driver will have less time to avoid a car that starts backing out of a nearby space or a pedestrian that wanders into the speeding driver’s path, which may lead them to swerve into a nearby building.

Driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or certain prescribed medications is also a common reason a driver crashes his or her vehicle into a building. Alcohol and other drugs can slow your reaction time and impair your judgment, making you more likely to engage in reckless behavior.

Another Crash or Hazard

There are times when someone crashes into a building after trying to avoid a hazard, such as an animal darting across the street.

Sometimes a collision with a building occurs as result of another crash. For instance, a collision with another vehicle could send one or both vehicles off the road and into a building.

Mechanical Error or Breakdown

If a vehicle’s brakes fail or the car accelerates without the driver hitting the gas, the driver could lose control. Tire blowouts are another common reason why drivers lose control.

When Could a Driver Be Held Liable?

In most cases, the driver of the vehicle that slams into a building is held liable. He or she is the one who had the best opportunity to prevent a collision. After all, these crashes are often the result of driver negligence, such as:

Those injured by the crash (other drivers, pedestrians who were inside or outside of the building, etc.) may be able to pursue a liability claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Drivers and pedestrians who were injured can also seek compensation from the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in their own auto insurance.

What if the Driver Does Not Own the Vehicle?

If the driver borrowed the vehicle from someone, the owner of the vehicle may share some liability for the damages caused by the crash, even if the vehicle was taken without permission.

If the driver stole the vehicle, the owner could still be held partially liable if his or her negligent actions resulted in the theft. For example, if the owner of the vehicle left the car running to stop inside a convenience store, this may be considered a negligent action. Leaving the car running gives thieves more than enough time to steal a vehicle.

Other Parties That Might Bear Fault

Sometimes, there are other parties besides drivers who bear some amount of fault for a collision with a building, such as:

The Property or Business Owner

If there were conditions an owner neglected to address that may have resulted in a vehicle crashing into his or her building, the owner may be held liable for a portion of damages.

The Vehicle Manufacturer

If vehicle malfunctions or defects contributed to the collision, such as failing brakes, the manufacturer of the vehicle or a component could be held liable.

However, if the driver was aware of a recalled part that ended up contributing to the crash and did not get the recall repair, the driver may still be at fault.

What if You Are in a Building When a Car Crashes Into It?

If this ever happens, it is important to get out of the building as soon as possible. There is no way to know the severity of the structural damage in the moments after the crash. You do not want to be inside if parts of the building come crashing down or cave in.

If you were injured, seek immediate medical attention. After you receive the treatment you need, consider calling an experienced lawyer to discuss your situation. You may be able to seek compensation and a lawyer can help you explore possible legal options.

At TSR Injury Law, we have been helping injured victims for many years, and are prepared to advocate for your rights. Our services are provided at no upfront cost to you.

Call for legal assistance. Your case review is completely free. Phone: (612) TSR-TIME.

Call Now
Call now!

(612) TSR-TIME

Contact us and
schedule a FREE initial case evaluation

Free Case Review

No Fees Unless We Win

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.