Who’s Responsible for Drive-Thru Accidents in New Jersey?

When you pull into the drive-thru for an order of fries and a drink, you don’t expect to leave with vehicle damage and an accident report. However, drive-thru accidents are relatively common. Drivers get distracted or fail to take proper precautions while playing on their phones or getting out payment.

When you’ve been involved in a drive-thru accident, it’s important to take the right steps to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.

Common Causes of Drive-Thru Crashes

There are several types of accidents that typically occur in drive-thru settings. The most common is a rear-end crash. Drivers may forget to put their cars in park while waiting for the line to move or fail to maintain enough space between their vehicle and the car in front of them. Other accidents involve one driver backing into another vehicle. T-bone accidents occur when drivers leave the drive-thru without yielding to cars in the moving lane of traffic. In many cases, a crash can be attributed to distracted driving and unsafe driving practices.

Assigning Blame

If you plan on recovering damages after a drive-thru accident in New Jersey, assigning blame is an essential step of the legal process. Insurance companies look at the evidence to determine who contributed to the crash and how much responsibility each party must take. In some cases, the business that owns the drive-thru may be partially responsible. If a drive-thru is poorly maintained, has poor or unclear signage, or obstructs drivers’ line of sight, the business could be liable for crashes on their property.

It’s important to collect evidence at the scene of the accident. If the other driver gives an inaccurate account of the accident to their insurance company, you should have witnesses, photographs, and a police report to back up your claims. Some fast food restaurants have video surveillance in the drive-thru area, which can also be beneficial to your case.

Seeking Compensation After a Drive-Thru Crash

A drive-thru accident can cause substantial damage. A driver responsible for a crash could be financially liable for injuries suffered by the other party, damage to the other party’s vehicle, and damage to the drive-thru and its structures.

In a 2018 Paterson crash, a driver accidentally left his car in drive and ran through a fence into a drive-thru, shattering another vehicle’s back window. In a case like this, the driver could have to pay for damage to the fence, the restaurant’s outside walls, and the vehicle they hit.

If you choose to file a personal injury suit after a drive-thru accident, you may ask for compensation for your physical injuries, vehicle damage, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other expenses. The amount you ask for depends on the details of your case, so consulting with a personal injury attorney should be your first step after an accident.

Call Rosner Law Offices If You’ve Been Hurt in a Drive-Thru

You shouldn’t be left with a stack of medical bills caused by someone else’s negligence. If a drive-thru crash has left you with injuries or a totaled vehicle, we’re here to help. Reach out to Rosner Law Offices, P.C. at (856) 457-6477 to schedule a consultation at our Vineland office.

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