Fast Food Leads to Death

No this isn’t another health food scare article, although you might want to cut back on the drive thru ordering after reading this. Just recently a McDonald’s customer was killed in what police labeled a “freak accident”.

And it happened while the customer was at the drive-thru window of a Vancouver McDonalds. Police stated the man opened his door to get something he dropped from his window while paying the restaurant employee. As he opened the door and leaned out, the car rolled forward, the door hit part of the restaurant and the man was pinned between the car door and the window frame. The customer died on scene.

You might be thinking this is an isolated incident but it’s not. In 2018, almost the same scenario played out at a Jack In The Box in St. Louis. A motorist opened his door while at the drive-thru and while attempting to retrieve the food, he accidently accelerated and hit a tree. He did not survive.

Opening car doors while in a drive-thru is never a good idea. Sadly, it happens more frequently than reported. The ultimate question when this happens is, “who is responsible?” Is it the restaurant? The customer? Someone else?

Well, it depends. The answer is not always clear cut.

Typically accidents that result while in a drive-thru are caused by the negligence of another driver (example: a rear-end collision or side collision if the drive-thru has multiple lanes). And in those cases the vehicle owner’s insurance would get involved.

Now in regard to the aforementioned deaths as a result of opening of a door at the drive-thru can the restaurant be held liable? Maybe.

Most restaurants that offer drive-up service very rarely have signage informing customers not to open their doors while in the drive-thru. Or why it’s important to keep a certain distance between cars. Nor do the drivers get reminded to stay in their cars from the order attendant. And if no warnings are given the restaurant could be held responsible.

Drivers on the roads are reminded of potential dangers constantly with signs displaying…

  • Traffic Signal Ahead
  • Stop Ahead
  • Left Turn Ahead
  • Sharp Curve
  • No Passing Zone
  • Merging Traffic
  • School Zone
  • Deer Crossing

And yet, when a driver pulls into a restaurant he/she might only see…

  • Enter Here or
  • Drive-Thru Open

Then what? What is a driver supposed to do or not do after entering the restaurant drive thru? And that’s where the problems arise. Without proper signage to remind drivers what is expected their fast food could lead to death.

If you have been in any kind of a car accident caused by the negligence of someone else, and were injured or sustained property damage in a car crash in Merrillville, Crown Point, Gary, Hammond, Highland, Portage, Valparaiso, or in Lake or Porter County, or any part of northwest Indiana contact our firm for help. We put our experience and resources to work for car crash injury victims throughout northwest Indiana with one object in mind: to maximize your compensation. Call our number (219)736-9700 for assistance today.

The Law Offices of David W. Holub is a personal injury law firm located in Merrillville, Indiana, focused on providing efficient and effective client-centered representation. Our mission is to provide top quality legal representation, which includes an uncompromising pursuit of our client’s legal interests, while being accessible and attentive to our clients during times of personal challenge.

The firm concentrates in personal injury cases of all types, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation. We work tirelessly to serve each client aggressively and with empathy, to communicate regularly and clearly, and to obtain prompt and favorable results, while adhering to the highest standards of excellence and integrity. Our team considers it a high honor to be called upon to serve our clients whom we often come to regard as our friends.

*If you would like to learn more about personal injury law, we encourage you to listen to our Personal Injury Primer Podcast where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law. And read “Fighting For Truth: A Trial Lawyer’s Insight Into What It Takes To Win” an entertaining and enlightening book pulling readers into the courtroom giving them a glimpse of the legal process and what it takes to win at trial.

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