If you have been injured in an auto accident and can prove that you were not to blame, it may be worth filing a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the accident. Accidents are commonplace in and around busy fast food restaurants like Dunkin’ Donuts. Drivers often fail to look around carefully and end up causing an accident. A successful personal injury claim can help to pay for expensive surgery and lost earnings. You are advised to get a legal opinion about your chances of successfully winning a claim from an experienced personal injury attorney before actually submitting a claim with your local civil court.
Drive-thrus like the ones present at Dunkin Donuts are the preferred option for some people when they want to access a meal quickly while away from home. They don’t even have to get out of their vehicle as all the payment and delivery takes place at the drive-thru window.
This may all seem nice and easy as you just pull up in a queue and wait your turn. Unfortunately things do not always go the way you expected and accidents do happen in a Dunkin Donut drive thru with serious injuries often the outcome.
If this has happened to you and the accident was not your fault your entitlement to file a personal injury claim will entirely depend on what state the accident took place in. Typically there are two types of states when it comes to eligibility to file a PI claim. There are no fault states and fault states. They treat personal injury claims differently.
Dunkin’ Donuts Company Profile
Dunkin’ Donuts is a very well known American and international brand with more than 12,000 restaurants scattered across the world. The majority are in the U.S., which is where the first Dunkin’ Donuts was established.
Dunkin’ Donuts does still sell plenty of donuts, but it also offers much more. It is known for its coffee, bagels, baked goods, and many other hot and cold drinks.
Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and smaller outlets are found in many different locations. There are plenty in shopping malls, city centers and airport departure lounges, as well as right on the side of highways. These highway outlets and restaurants are most likely to have a drive through where customers can order coffees and doughnuts without having to get out of the car. These places can get busy, and that’s when there always seems to be someone in a hurry and not prepared to wait their turn.
Difference Between “Fault” and “No Fault” States
Over the years some states expect their drivers to carry insurance to protect themselves when a car accident takes place whether they are to blame or not. These are called no-fault states and they limit the chance to sue a driver if s/he caused an accident. Examples of states which are no-fault are New York, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Kansas, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota, Utah, North Dakota and Pennsylvania.
The remainder of the states are fault states where the at-fault driver’s insurer in a road accident pays the costs resulting in financial hardship for the victim. If this has happened to you in an at-fault state you will need the evidence at your finger tips proving who caused the accident.
What Is Evidence in a PI Claim?
Evidence can come from a variety of sources such as:
- eye witness statements and information which can include pictures;
- police reports including video footage and other pictures;
- security camera evidence;
- photos and pictures noting both damage done and car positions.
Most PI claims involve injuries which can have a profound effect financially on victims. It is important when filing a PI claim the receipts are kept as evidence. This includes:
- medical bills;
- wages already lost;
- future wages lost;
- car repair estimates.
Accidents Can Happen at a Drive Thru at Dunkin Donuts
Recently in Ohio, a 70-year-old drove his SUV into a drive-thru at Dunkin Donuts and caused three people to be injured. The report stated the man was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and he was also driving while suspended.
The accident took place because the driver reversed causing his vehicle to hit three cars. He then drove forwards hitting a 4th vehicle which as a result moved suddenly and hit a 5th vehicle. After all that damage had been done he side-swiped a further vehicle and drove his vehicle into the front of the restaurant hitting a pedestrian inside.
No one lost their life but there was substantial damage to vehicles and there were five victims who were treated in hospital for injuries that were not considered to be life threatening. As the injuries took place in Ohio, which is a fault state, anyone who was injured in this series of accidents should be able to file a personal injury claim.
This should cover the cost of damage to their vehicles and any medical treatment. The police appeared to possess clear evidence of what caused the accident so the police report can be used as evidence when filing a PI claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer.
Personal Injury Claims after a Restaurant Drive Through Auto Accident
One of the most important things you must be aware of after any kind of auto accident is to provide clear evidence showing that someone else was to blame for an accident that injured you. Only in no-fault states do you not have to be concerned about who was to blame, and this state only covers slight to moderate injuries.
Evidence that another driver was to blame includes eye witness statements, photographic evidence, doctor’s reports, statements from a hospital or other medical institution, and a police report if it’s available. If you were hit while waiting to be served at a Dunkin’ Donuts drive through or when you were leaving it to turn on to the adjacent road, you may find that it is relatively easy finding some of this evidence, as there should be other customers and staff close by. Remember that it is easier trying to collect evidence sooner rather than later, when it may have become a distant memory.
Why You Should Use a Personal Injury Attorney
Making a personal injury claim is not as straightforward as you might think that it is. Insurance adjusters working on behalf of the person who hit you are never easily convinced that you were not somehow to blame. You will find that the help you get from an experienced personal injury attorney invaluable throughout the whole personal injury claim process.
- Responsibility for Car Accidents
- Auto Accidents Involving a Rear End Collision
- Slip and Fall at Dunkin' Donuts
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Dunkin' Donuts, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.