Commonly known as Sonic, the Sonic Drive-in has more than 3,545 locations across America, quickly becoming a household name for its juicy burgers brought directly to customers in their cars and its customizable beverage offerings that have gained a cult-like following.
Sonic is more like a drive-in than a drive-thru where customers park their vehicles, order food, and enjoy their meals inside their cars. The concept of a drive-in took off during the Covid-19 lockdown, where restrictions made it impossible for people to enjoy their favorite meals at fast food restaurants.
Although Sonic drive-in offers a convenient and unique experience, it can also become a nightmare for many if the fast food chain does not maintain its property. Ehline Law and our premises liability attorneys have been helping injured patrons since 2005, protecting their rights against large fast-food chains and getting them the compensation they deserve.
Contact our sonic drive-in accident attorneys if you’ve suffered injuries at one due to the property owner’s negligence.
Common Causes of Accidents at Sonic Drive-in
With more than 15 years of experience handling auto accidents, Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys understand how accidents can unfold at a Sonic drive-thru.
When people order food at a drive-thru, they immediately open their food bags and start chowing down on their meals while behind the wheel. Eating is a major distraction, and distracted drivers can lead to low-impact car accidents, especially at a drive-thru.
Although low-impact car accidents do not seem like anything you should worry about, they can have a much larger impact on you than you realize. Low-impact accidents can exacerbate pre-existing injuries or health conditions. Besides fueling old scars and wounds, a low-impact accident can lead to whiplash injuries, brain damage, and other types of injuries.
Besides eating at a drive-thru, accidents can happen for other reasons, including:
- Texting, talking on the phone, listening to loud music, or daydreaming.
- Pedestrians, especially children, in the vehicle’s blind spot may not be visible to the driver, causing them to run over them.
- Bad drive-in design can make it challenging for large vehicles to maneuver safely, leading to accidents.
- Improperly marked sonic drive-in or road markings can cause confusion among drivers, increasing the risk of a car accident.
- Icy or wet surfaces in a drive-in can lead to a slip-and-fall accident if the customer walks on it.
- Lack of security can lead to fights or robbers attacking the patrons at a sonic drive-in.
- Hot beverage spills at a sonic drive-in can lead to burn injuries, as seen in the infamous Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants case.
Common Injuries in a Drive-in Accident
Injuries can vary from one case to another and depend on the type of accident and the location of the impact.
The following are some of the common injuries sustained by victims in drive-in accidents:
- Whiplash injuries
- Head and traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck and back injuries.
Injured victims must immediately seek medical attention after their accident and maintain a physical folder where they should keep a copy of all the bills and medical records.
Premises Liability in California
The Sonic drive-in has over 80 locations in California, providing the ultimate drive-in experience for the past 60 years. However, at times, a store owner may be negligent in maintaining their property or ensuring the safety of their customers, leading to accidents and injuries.
Under premises liability, injured victims can pursue claims against negligent store owners or occupiers to recover the damages incurred on the property.
To have a valid premises liability claim, an injured victim must prove the following elements:
- Duty: The defendant was the store owner or occupier and owed the victim a duty of care to maintain their property.
- Breach: The defendant failed to carry out their duty of care to the victim by not maintaining safe conditions on the property.
- Causation: The defendant’s breach resulted in injuries to the victim.
- Damages: The victim suffered damages due to the defendant’s breach.
Damages You Can Pursue in a Sonic Drive-in Claim
The damages you can pursue following your accident at a Sonic drive-in depend on many factors, including the nature and extent of the injuries sustained.
Typically, injured victims can recover the following compensatory damages (economic and non-economic damages):
- Medical bills: After suffering injuries at a Sonic drive-in, an injured victim may require medical treatment for which they can pursue a personal injury claim. Medical bills you can recover after sustaining injuries in a Sonic drive-in accident include surgery costs, rehabilitation, therapy, prescription medication, future medical expenses, and other out-of-pocket medical bills.
- Lost wages: Depending on the severity of the injuries sustained at a Sonic drive-in, injured victims may not be able to go to work, missing out on the wages they could’ve earned if they were not injured. A personal injury claim helps victims recover current, past, and future loss of earnings if they’re unable to work due to their injuries.
- Property damage: The most common type of accident at a drive-in is a car accident. Whether it is a fender bender or heavy damage to the vehicle, an injured victim can pursue property damage in a personal injury claim to pay for a repair or replacement job.
- Pain and suffering: Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish can seriously alter a victim’s life, and under premises liability law, they may be able to recover these types of damages in a civil action.
Protecting Your Personal Injury Case: What to Do After Your Accident at a Sonic Drive-thru?
Whether a slip and fall accident or any other accident at a drive-in, it is crucial to follow the steps below to protect your personal injury claim:
- Assess your injuries and determine whether you can move around without any pain. If you’re suffering serious injuries, it is best to stay where you are and call out for help.
- Call 911 or ask someone to call 911 for you to ask for medical assistance if required.
- If you can move around, start collecting evidence by taking photographs and recording videos of the hazard that caused your accident, any vehicles involved, the accident scene, and your injuries.
- Report the accident to the Sonic fast food restaurant manager and request a copy of the accident report. Reporting to the manager documents the incident and allows you to take a copy of the accident report, which you can submit when filing a personal injury claim.
- Exchange contact details and insurance information with the parties involved in the accident. Make sure you don’t talk to them about how the accident unfolded, as it could later hurt your claim.
- Whether they’re an employee at Sonic, a customer, or a bystander, take the contact details of any people who witnessed the accident. When pursuing legal action against the fast food establishment, a witness statement can support your case and increase your chances of recovering damages.
- After the accident, immediately head to a hospital for a medical evaluation. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan, take medications promptly if prescribed, and record the details of your injuries and how they affect your life in a journal.
- Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. A skilled attorney can help guide you on tackling the insurance company and discuss the legal options available to you after assessing your claim.
How Can Ehline Law Help You After Your Sonic Drive-in Accident?
Ehline Law is a superior personal injury law firm that has helped more than 3,000 injured victims get the justice and compensation they deserve. We can help you in many ways, including the following.
Evaluate Your Case
Assess and evaluate your case to determine the damages you may be eligible for. Our Sonic drive-in attorney can bring in a reputable medical professional and use prior case verdicts to calculate the value of compensatory damages.
Identifying Liable Party(s)
Determining the negligent parties after an accident can be challenging without properly assessing the case. In the case of a Sonic drive-in, it could be the Sonic fast food establishment or another driver or individual responsible for your injuries.
Our personal Sonic drive-thru attorney can allocate resources to investigate the accident and identify the parties liable for your injuries.
Providing evidence to support your case is crucial when filing a claim against the negligent party. If you’re unsure what type of evidence you should submit with your claim, you may end up sending one that hurts your case rather than strengthens it.
Our experienced Sonic drive-thru accident attorneys can help gather the evidence to bolster your case (camera footage, medical records, accident report, and more) and increase your chances of financial recovery.
Avoid Mistakes and Hurdles
The biggest mistake accident victims make after suffering injuries is not following the legal process. Failing to adhere to the process can allow the defendants to file a motion to dismiss your claim.
Our personal injury attorneys can help pursue your personal injury claim on your behalf so that you avoid all the mistakes other accident victims without legal representation make.
Handle the Insurance Company
After filing an injury claim, a major headache is dealing with the insurer and their dirty tactics. They’ll try to win you over by offering a low settlement and sweet talking their way into accepting it.
They may avoid picking up your calls if you negotiate a better offer. The cold shoulder is often enough for injured victims to immediately accept the initial settlement offer and get it over with.
Our personal injury attorneys have a reputation for getting what we want, and we want to help you get a fair settlement for your injuries. We will handle the insurance company and negotiate a better offer while you can focus on your medical treatment.
Why Choose Ehline Law Firm for Your Sonic Drive-thru Claim?
There are many reasons you should consider choosing Ehline Law for your Sonic drive-in claim, including the following:
We Have Extensive Experience
When fighting a large fast-food restaurant and its insurance company, you need aggressive litigators with extensive experience and a superior track record.
Our personal injury attorneys have over 15 years of experience and have recovered over $150 million in compensation. You can trust us to handle your personal injury claim, no matter how complicated or challenging.
We Offer Services on a Contingency Fee Basis
Ehline Law and our attorneys offer a zero-fee guarantee if you hire our legal services. We won’t charge you a single cent unless we win the case for you.
Get a Free Consultation with Our Legal Team
We provide a free consultation for injured victims so that they can discuss their cases, interact with our legal team, and get their queries answered.
In the initial assessment of your case, we will guide you on the legal options available to you and how to tackle the insurance company when you call them to report the accident.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Top Notch Sonic Burger Accident Attorneys
If you’ve suffered injuries at a Sonic drive-in, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free legal consultation with our experienced Sonic drive-thru personal injury attorneys, as you may be able to seek compensation. We also offer virtual consultations.