Liquor liability or “dram shop” laws allow a victim injured by an intoxicated person to file a lawsuit against the establishment contributing to that intoxication. The most frequent example of liquor liability stems from automobile collisions caused by drunk drivers. However, liquor liability cases may involve other types of injuries, such as when an intoxicated person assaults another patron. The establishments that may be held responsible in such instances include bars, restaurants, liquor stores, social clubs, and even private events where liquor is sold.
The purpose of liquor liability laws is to discourage establishments from serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated patrons who may subsequently inflict serious injury or death upon themselves or others. Under typical liquor liability laws, a victim must prove that the establishment who provided the alcohol to the intoxicated patron knew or should have known that the patron was intoxicated. Additionally, the victim must prove that the alcohol provided by the establishment contributed to the injuries sustained.
Liquor liability laws are especially important when the negligent driver has inadequate insurance coverage. The victims who are injured or killed as a result of the negligence of such drivers must often look to their own uninsured or underinsured automobile coverage for compensation. If the negligent driver was over-served alcohol in a jurisdiction with liquor liability laws, a victim may seek to hold the establishment liable for placing their profits over safety of the community.
GLG’s lawyers have an impeccable track record in liquor liability cases. We may be able to assist in the pursuit of your claims against the business responsible for the actions of an intoxicated person following the negligent sale of alcohol to that person.
If you were injured or a family member was killed due to the negligence of an intoxicated person, please contact GLG and we will be happy to review with you – at absolutely no charge – your particular rights and remedies.