Recovering from a serious drunk driving accident can be difficult, especially when you don’t have the funding you need to cover your medical bills and damages to your car. It is for this reason that many victims of a drunk driver choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, while it’s possible to only file against the driver that struck you, it’s also a good idea to consider bringing a suit against the bar or restaurant that served the drunk driver.
Bringing a suit against a bar can provide several benefits, including a higher level of compensation. Learn how a car accident attorney can help you file a suit against a bar or restaurant that over-served the drunk driver in your case.
All About Dram Shop Laws
Certain states hold establishments that serve alcohol responsible for the actions of their patrons, which are called dram shop laws. If you have been injured by a drunk driver who was over-served alcohol at a bar, restaurant or liquor store, then it may be possible for you to file a suit against the serving establishment.
Be warned, however, that the ability to file a suit against a bar can be limited on your location and the circumstances of your case. Some jurisdictions, for example, restrict dram shop cases to establishments that served alcohol to a minor. If you have any questions about the rules for your state, you should get answers from a local car accident attorney.
How Did You Suffer Your Injury?
Before filing your suit, it’s important to examine how you suffered your injuries, which will let you know exactly what type of suit you should consider.
If you were the patron at a bar or restaurant and were served too much alcohol, resulting in a single car accident, then you would file a first party case against the establishment. However, because of the matter of personal responsibility, first party cases can be very hard to win.
On the other hand, if you were in a car accident caused by a drunk driver who was negligently served alcohol, then you may have grounds for a third-party case against the establishment involved.
Deciding How to Prove Negligence in a Drunk Driver Wreck
Once you have determined which type of dram shop suit you will file, you will need to decide exactly how you will prove the fault of the serving establishment. Fault in these cases can be extremely difficult to prove and usually, rest on either recklessness or intent.
For a bar or restaurant to be deemed reckless, it should be shown that they were serving alcohol to a patron who exhibited clear signs of drunkenness and ignored these indicators. Intent, on the other hand, requires that direct action must be proved. With intent, the bar or restaurant must have purposely provided alcohol to a patron who was not legally allowed to drink or who it would be unsafe to serve alcohol to.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
If you’re considering a lawsuit against a bar or restaurant following your drunk driving accident, it’s important that you get the right legal help, which is why you should consider hiring a car accident lawyer from Lowry & Associates. At Lowry & Associates, we have the experience, knowledge, and compassion needed to try your case and win your needed compensation. Contact us today at 207-775-3819 or fill out our free case review form.