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Storefront Injuries an Overlooked Risk in SWFL

Disturbing video footage of an SUV smashing through a convenience store in the heart of Fort Myers offers a sobering reminder of the risk of these storefront collisions.

Wink News reports the truck slammed through the storefront in south Fort Myers in an incident that was captured on the store’s security cameras. The video dramatically depicts how dangerous these crashes can be, as a storefront parking stop and curb were no match for the large SUV that barreled through the glass storefront, where a customer was standing at the checkout.

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The incident occurred at the the 7-Eleven located at College Parkway and U.S. 41. The Florida Highway Patrol reports a 36-year-old Lehigh Acres woman was charged with driving with a suspended license. A store employee and a customer were transported to the hospital, though miraculously, it appears nobody was critically injured. Media reports indicate the driver has a lengthy record of driving violations.

Injuries on business property continue to be a serious issue in Southwest Florida. However, the risks of storefront crashes are often overlooked. Our Fort Myers injury lawyers wrote recently about tourist injuries in Southwest Florida. And about parking lot injuries and storefront crashes in a blog post last September after a car rammed into a seafood restaurant in Cape Coral.

Parking Lot Injuries – Storefront Crashes

An experienced injury law firm in Fort Myers should carefully review these cases to determine all responsible parties. While an at-fault driver is the most obvious responsible party, business owners, property owners and other defendants may be identified as causing or contributing to property injury risks. As this case illustrates, little economic recovery may be possible from the at-fault driver, particularly if the responsible driver lacks a driver’s license or adequate auto insurance.

Storefront crash statistics show nearly half of such incidents involve a driver over the age of 60. Operator and peddle errors are blamed in more than half of all incidents. Drunk drivers cause nearly 1 in 5 such crashes. More than 500 people are killed in storefront crashes each year and thousands of others are injured nationwide. About half of these crashes occur at retail or commercial buildings. With another 25 percent occurring at restaurants or convenience stores.

Unfortunately, many drivers and pedestrians let their guard down upon entering a parking lot, despite statistics that continue to show increased collision risks. However, poor parking lot design, unmarked crossings, inadequate lighting, and any number of other factors may contribute to collision risks. Outdoor cafes are particularly dangerous, as our glass storefronts that lack bollards (metal or concrete posts that prevent vehicles from intruding into a business), substantial curbing or other barriers to entry.

Under laws of premises liability in Florida, business and property owners have a duty of care to customers to maintain safe conditions and to address hazards that are reasonably foreseeable. Seeking remedy from a negligent business or property owner can offer a means of adequate financial recovery while reducing the risk of future accidents.

If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.