The idea of lightning striking twice in the same spot or hitting the same person twice is more than just an interesting concept ― it actually happens. Similar to this idea is the fact that in 2012 our firm published a blog post about a car that crashed through the storefront of a New York Dunkin’ Donuts establishment and injured four people. Those who were injured included the driver of the vehicle, a passenger in the car, and two people in the store at the time of the crash.
The driver, an 86-year-old man, was enjoying a drive in his 1996 Buick with his 85-year-old wife in the passenger seat when he suddenly lost control of the car. After the vehicle smashed through the glass of the storefront, it pinned one of the employees against a wall, causing him to sustain internal injuries. Reasonably so, the male driver was issued a breathalyzer test which read normal ranges, leaving the cause of the accident a bit of a mystery. Was it the car itself that malfunctioned and rendered the driver unable to do anything, or was human error the culprit? Once the crash victims had been taken to the hospital to have their injuries assessed, the Buick was impounded by officials to have a safety examination and brake check performed and determine whether or not the vehicle was at fault.
Can you imagine the shock of everyone involved in this situation? For those in particular who simply woke up that morning to go to their jobs at Dunkin’ Donuts, the accident that occurred at 3:30 in the afternoon on an otherwise unremarkable day was a terrifying experience. But in this situation where the driver was an elderly man who claims he lost control of the car, who is really at fault?
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On January 8, 2013, ABC News once reported that a car slammed into the front of a Brownville Dunkin’ Donuts store, injuring four people. When police questioned the driver, she said she was unable to stop the car as it jumped the curb, slammed into the store, and shattered the storefront glass. At least two of the injured parties were customers. Everyone who was injured was taken to Brookdale Hospital – thankfully, all were in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.
After multiple accidents of this nature having occurred throughout the country, it begs the question of how they keep happening. It is reasonable to expect car accidents to occur repeatedly in dangerous locations, such as roads with design flaws, certain congested intersections, or places where road signs are confusing. In the event of a “standard” car accident, a Long Island car accident lawyer when investigating it would look for such safety issues and how to hold responsible parties accountable for failing to create safe road conditions or failing to install a traffic light or erect appropriate road signs.
However, in this instance, the female driver failed to control the car in an oddly similar way that people surmised the elderly gentleman in the earlier Dunkin’ Donuts accident mistakenly stepped on the accelerator instead of the brakes. In such scenarios, finding the party who is responsible for the damages is more difficult. The woman from the second accident claimed she could not stop her vehicle, and the man from the first accident claimed he lost control. Did these drivers simply not pay attention or make some sort of error while they were meandering down the road and blame it on a mechanical issue within the car, or did the car actually malfunction and inhibit any attempt by the driver to correct it before they crashed?
A good car accident attorney asks these questions because it is always possible that the crash was indeed caused by a vehicle malfunction and not the driver.
What to Do if You’ve Been in an Auto Accident
If you have been in a car accident, the first thing you should do is check to make sure that you are okay and do not have any broken bones or cuts, and then (after pulling over to the side of the road, if possible) make sure the other driver is okay. Often times, we let our anger at the situation get the best of us and forget that ensuring the safety of everyone involved is the top priority. After calling the police to come to the scene and file a report, you should exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver, take pictures to document any damages for the insurance company, and write down everything you remember about what happened. Once you have filed the police report, call your insurance company to file a claim.
In a major car accident like the previously mentioned crashes at Dunkin’ Donuts, 911 should be called immediately, especially because the victims needed medical assistance that required transport to a hospital. The police will generally do the job of collecting evidence and preserving the scene for insurance purposes, but if you are physically able after your crash, it may be a good idea to take photos and collect documentation of your own.
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Call Our Car Accident Attorneys For Assistance Today
If you have been the victim of an automobile crash, call our car accident attorneys today. On top of medical bills you might have due to injuries you sustained, there is the stress of dealing with the other driver and their insurance company, both of whom may try to avoid paying for your damages. If the actual vehicle is determined to have been at fault, that may lead to an even larger case that involves the auto company.
At Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP, we have decades of experience handling car accident cases on behalf of our clients, and we promise to stand by you every step of the way. Call us today at (631) 451-7900 for more information on how we can begin the process of building your strongest case possible. Let us fight for the justice you deserve.