Have you ever wondered who’s responsible when a drunk person causes an accident after leaving a bar or restaurant? In some cases, the answer may be the establishment that served them alcohol. This is where Dram Shop laws come into play. These laws hold businesses liable for serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals who subsequently cause injury to others.
Pursuing a Claim under Dram Shop Laws
If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you may be able to pursue a claim not only against the driver but also the business that served them alcohol. You will need an experienced drunk driving accident injury lawyer to help you with your case. However, proving liability under dram shop laws requires meeting specific criteria:
Proof of Sale: You must prove that the establishment sold alcohol to the person who caused your injuries.
Visible Intoxication: You need to demonstrate that the person was visibly intoxicated at the time they were served more alcohol.
Causal Link: There must be a direct link between the consumption of alcohol and the injuries sustained.
Real-Life Scenarios and Court Decisions
Consider a scenario where a bar continues to serve drinks to a patron who is slurring their words and stumbling. If that patron then drives and injures someone in a car accident, the injured party could potentially have their local injury lawyer file a lawsuit against the bar under the dram shop laws.
In a noteworthy Alabama case, Wishbone Stores, Inc. v. Albritton, the court held that a store that sold a six-pack of beer to a visibly intoxicated minor could be held liable under the state’s dram shop act when the minor later caused a car accident.
Dram Shop laws provide an additional avenue for victims of alcohol-related accidents to seek compensation. However, navigating these laws can be complex, requiring evidence of visible intoxication and a clear link between the alcohol served and the accident. Given the complexities involved, it’s crucial to seek legal advice if you find yourself in a situation where dram shop laws may apply. An experienced Birmingham personal injury lawyer can guide you through the process and help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!