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A news report on tells of another tragic accident caused when a motor vehicle entered the interior of a building. News of similar crashes seem to happen more and more frequently. Each requires a special effort to determine what is called the fault tree.

A truck has crashed through the windows of a SunTrust bank branch in New Port Richey, injuring the driver and at least two people inside the building.

EMS dispatchers sent three medical helicopters to the scene, near the corner of Main Street and U.S. 19.

Fault Tree Analysis

When an injury results from the intrusion of a vehicle into a dwelling or commercial building there must be a full fault tree analysis to determine where the legal liability should rest. This approach requires a thorough and directed investigation of each of the potential branches of the tree of fault. For example, one branch of possible liability would be the driver. But, there are smaller branches to consider off the driver branch – his conduct, his medical or physical circumstances, his training and experience, etc.

Another main branch of possible liability would be the vehicle and its maintenance and repair. A third main branch would be the design and construction of the bank premises. Some facilities are poorly designed and easily permit deep penetration into the interior by a wayward vehicle through a large window (no longer an unexpected event). There are quite a few other branches of potential liability that need to be considered. Another driver or vehicle may have been involved; the roadway may have been defective in some way; the employer of the truck driver may have been negligent.

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