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Dram Shop Laws and Bar Negligence: How You Could Get More From Your Accident Claim

Drunk Driving Car Accident

Drunk driving accounts for 32% of all car crash fatalities; 31% are due to speeding, 16% from distraction, and 11% from weather. If someone got into an accident that caused damage, injury, or wrongful death to another party, then they are held responsible.

However, if that someone was drinking at a bar before the accident, then that could potentially make the bar responsible.

Over 40 states have adopted dram shop laws as a result of the staggering number of DUIs in which someone was severely injured or killed. Dram shop laws exist to hold establishments responsible for negligent behavior such as:

  • Serving someone who is visibly intoxicated
  • Serving alcohol to a minor
  • Selling alcohol past legal hours
  • Serving alcohol without a valid license

In the event of an accident, the plaintiff usually holds the drunk driver responsible for damages. However, in a dram shop case, the plaintiff can sue the bar or entity that was serving the alcohol.

In most cases, the bar’s insurance is more than sufficient in covering damage costs and suits compared to the driver’s automobile insurance. This is often the reason why suits are brought against establishments.

Although, proving liability in a dram shop case can be extremely difficult. The key is to find lawyers who specialize in dram shop and bar negligence law. However, depending on the type of suit you’re pursuing (such as a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death case) you could also use a personal injury attorney, wrongful death attorney, auto accident attorney, and so on.

What will need to be proven in order to show liability depends on the state. Some states will hold the person or establishment who sold the defendant alcohol guilty in any case. Other states may only hold them guilty if they knew the defendant was visibly intoxicated and served them anyway.

If you’ve been in an accident involving a drunk driver, you’ll want to find lawyers who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call Steigmann Law today to discuss your case.