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How a Pair of California Restaurant Customers Were Able to Hold the Eatery’s Landlord Liable After a Car Crashed into the Property… and into Them

Your auto accident case may sometimes seem like a frustrating endeavor. There’s the possibility that the driver who hit you had minimal (or no) insurance coverage and few personal assets, making your chances of recovering full compensation for your substantial injuries low. Especially in these times, a skilled San Mateo personal injury attorney can help a great deal. If you get the right legal team on your side from the start, your attorney can do the in-depth investigation necessary to discover the alternate avenues for compensation that may exist to give you a better chance of getting you the total compensation you need.

For example, we can look at an injury case that was in the legal reports again recently (for reasons unrelated to the victims’ injuries.) The underlying accident was a two-car crash at an intersection in Long Beach, which injured five people. Two of those five were a husband and wife who were in neither vehicle. They were dining at a Mexican restaurant located near the intersection and were struck after the collision caused one of the cars to jump the curb and crash into the restaurant.

According to the couple’s lawsuit, that car kept going until it reached the southeast wall of the restaurant. There, it hit the couple and pinned them against the wall, causing them to suffer serious injuries.

A lot of people might look at an event like this and assume that the couple’s only form of legal recourse would be to pursue compensation from the driver who was liable for causing the crash.

This couple, however, did more. They hired legal counsel, and their legal team brought an action against the restaurant and the restaurant’s landlords. The couple’s legal team had discovered that a similar crashed had occurred at the same site six years earlier. Based on that earlier accident, the couple asserted that landlords were (or should have been) aware of the propensity of vehicles entering the restaurant.

As a result, the landlords were negligent by failing to erect additional safety features to protect the people inside, such as installing a reinforced front door frame and/or bollards in front of that front entrance, which would have stopped a vehicle before it entered the premises, according to the couple’s lawsuit.

The landlord’s knowledge of the first crash = ‘moral blame’

The landlords asked the trial court to throw out the couple’s lawsuit on summary judgment, but the couple prevailed. The trial judge determined that the landlords “had knowledge of the 2007 accident and therefore had ‘moral blame for not doing anything to prevent a similar accident from occurring.’”

That win was a significant one for the injured couple. In a lot of cases, the defense’s position on settlement becomes much more reasonable after you, as the plaintiff, have defeated a defense motion for summary judgment versus before that outcome. In this case, shortly after the trial court denied the landlords’ motion for summary judgment, the landlords’ insurance company settled with the couple, agreeing to pay the husband and wife $785,000.

What do this case and this outcome teach? They point out that, many times, injury cases are not necessarily what they might seem to be on the surface. There may be more nuances and complexities than first appear. Those wrinkles may offer enhanced opportunities to get the full compensation you need. Doing that, though, often requires the trained eye of a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional.

If you’ve been hurt in an auto accident, make sure you have that sort of diligent and skillful advocate on your side. Count on the knowledgeable car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to have the tools to get you the outcome you deserve. Our team has a wealth of experience helping injured people who’ve been hurt in accidents just like yours. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.

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