An SUV crashing through the wall of a bank in Virginia Beach, VA, injured four people inside. The accident happened just after noon on December 5, 2017, and the driver also suffered injuries.
Firefighters who responded to the incident at a Bank of America branch off of Indian River Road believe that the driver experienced a medical emergency before losing control of his vehicle. Three of the people inside the building, identified as both employees and customers, were treated at the scene. A fourth individual in the bank branch when the SUV came through the wall required hospital treatment.
Insurance companies, law enforcement officials and researchers call wrecks like this one at the intersection of Fordham Drive and Center Lane in the Kemps River section of Virginia Beach “fixed object collisions.” They occur with alarming frequency.
A lengthy article published in the August 6, 2014, Miami Herald highlighted these statistics:
- More than 60 car-concrete crashes happen in the U.S. on a daily basis, and
- Car-in-building accidents cause 10 serious injuries each day across the United States.
The reasons for fixed-object collisions involving buildings, according to the article, include “simple pedal confusion -- mistaking accelerator for brake -- drunken driving, police chases.” With a driver’s negligence, recklessness or involuntary loss of control almost always being to blame for crashes like this one in Virginia Beach, the Storefront Safety Council advocates for a combination of building codes and parking lot regulations that require strong barriers between vehicles and buildings. The group also welcomes car and truck manufacturing standards that increase the durability of vehicle fenders and bumpers, as well as the effectiveness of crumple zones.
The person inside the Bank of America building who suffered the most-serious injuries may have grounds for filing personal injury insurance claims against the driver of the SUV. Even if the man behind the wheel did have a health problem, he could be held responsible for causing the wreck if he drove while knowing his physical condition made operating a vehicle a danger to himself and others.
Consulting with an Virginia personal injury lawyer who has experience helping victims of fixed-object collisions and victims of car crashes in Virginia Beach will help the person who got hurt in the bank understand and pursue their legal options for having their medical bills paid. A properly filed insurance claim could also result in having money lost from not being able to work while recovering replaced through a settlement.