Terror At The Waffle House
Investigators believe that a driver hit the accelerator instead of the brake as he tried to park and propelled his vehicle through a Waffle House on Columbus Drive.
When emergency responders arrived, they found a pickup truck inside the restaurant. One adult and one child were trapped under debris and seriously injured. Three other individuals also received medical treatment.
Although the investigation is not complete, authorities don’t expect to file charges in the case.
Car Crash Injuries
Every year, vehicle collisions kill or seriously injure millions of Americans. These collisions could involve vehicle-on-vehicle collisions or, more rarely, vehicle collisions with fixed objects. Legally, driver negligence is rather easy to establish in these situations. However, as outlined below, the landowner could also be legally responsible for these injuries. More on that below.
The average hospital bill in a vehicle collision case is over $50,000. Some of the serious injuries that these victims often sustain include:
- Broken Bones: Especially if victims are trapped under rubble or inside wreckage, their shattered bones usually require highly invasive tactics, such as the implantation of metal parts, to set. As a result, some loss of function is almost inevitable, even after victims undergo extensive physical therapy.
- Head Injuries: These wounds are, by far, the most common car crash injuries. Once again, that’s especially true if the victim wasn’t inside a protected vehicle and was thus completely exposed to danger. Head injuries are always permanent. Once brain cells die, they never regenerate.
- Blood Loss: Exsanguination (extreme blood loss) is often the official cause of death in car wreck cases. Internal bleeding, which is difficult to detect and stop, is the leading culprit. In fact, by the time victims reach hospitals, they have often lost about a fifth of their blood.
Generally, health insurance companies refuse to pay these and other costs, since there is some question about financial responsibility. The resulting financial strain adds stress to an already extremely stressful situation. So, a Tampa personal injury attorney connects victims with doctors who charge nothing upfront for their services.
Drivers have a duty of reasonable care in these situations. This duty includes pressing the right pedal at the right time. Drivers cannot use age, medical condition, or anything else as an excuse in these situations.
Landowner Safety Responsibilities
Alternatively, victims could file legal claims against property owners and obtain compensation for their damages. These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Most of the basic elements of a premises liability claim are not too difficult to establish in these situations. However, foreseeability could be a different matter.
Initially, victims must prove that the landowner had a legal duty, and that the landowner knew, or should have known, about the hazard which caused injury. Restaurant patrons are invitees in Florida. Therefore, the landowner’s duty of care is very high in these situations. As for knowledge of the hazard, most Waffle Houses have mostly plexiglass or glass walls, and the parking area is adjacent to the wall. That’s an accident waiting to happen.
Nevertheless, to establish foreseeability, or possibility, additional evidence is usually necessary. This evidence could be prior similar incidents in the area, or prior similar incidents at that location.
Count on a Dedicated Hillsborough County Lawyer
Car crash victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Tampa car accident attorney, contact Mark H. Wright, PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these situations.