In this day and age, safe driving is highly encouraged. However, even the safest drivers out there on the road can come face to face with a drunk driver. If you are ever struck by a drunk driver while out on the road, the question of whether or not you can sue the bar they left drunk from may come into play. In this article, we will discuss this topic.
In each state, there are set in place what are known as “dram shop laws.” Dram shop laws relate to lawsuits that go to court over injuries sustained by drunk drivers who purchased alcoholic drinks within a bar or restaurant. If there is sufficient evidence regarding the drunk driver and the bar in question, you may be able to enter a dram shop case against that establishment.
When it comes to dram shop cases, there are first party cases and third party cases. If you have been struck by a drunk driver and you wish to sue the bar that served that individual the alcoholic drinks they consumed, you would be entering into a third party dram shop case.
In general, when you are the plaintiff in a third party dram shop case, you are working to prove that the bar who is acting as the defendant was negligent in some form or fashion when dealing with the drunk driver. The negligence will usually boil down to whether or not the bartender continued to serve the individual alcohol after they were clearly drunk. In some cases, you can prove that the bar acted in a “reckless” way, which means they acted more unreasonably than just being negligent.
To win a dram shop case, it’s important to have sufficient evidence that the bar acting as the defendant was negligent or reckless when dealing with the drunk driver. What is considered sufficient evidence? One way you could potentially win your dram shop case is by proving that bar did not require proof of age when they served the individual who later hit you alcohol. If this person was underage when they became drunk at the bar, you could have evidence enough to win your case.
Something else you could prove in order to win your dram shop case is that at the time of the bar’s closing, the drunk individual continued to be served drinks, or that at the time of being served, he or she was clearly already intoxicated.
In conclusion, if you have been involved in an accident with someone who left an establishment while intoxicated, you may be able to win a case against the establishment in question. We recommend doing more research regarding dram shop laws and cases before filing a claim and perhaps seeking the advice of an attorney in order to find out what exactly your options are. Nobody wants to come face to face with a drunk driver on the road. But if you have, rest assured you have options.