Injury lawsuits can be incredibly complicated. The number of people who can be held responsible for an accident sometimes can extend far beyond those directly involved in an accident. In the case of drunk driving accidents, in fact, sometimes not only is the DUI perpetrator to blame, but the bar who served them the alcohol. Learn about dram shop laws, how bars can be held responsible for a drunk driver, and why you need a car accident attorney’s help.
What Are Dram Shop Laws?
Many states have laws and statutes which place liability on alcoholic beverage vendors for negligence due to the irresponsible actions of those who purchase from them. This means that if you get drunk in a bar, and then go out and harm someone as a result of irresponsible behavior that was caused by the alcohol, the bar can be responsible. These laws are called dram shop laws.
Dram Shop Cases and the Drunk Driver
When a drunk driver causes an accident in a state with dram shop laws, the bar, liquor store, restaurant or business that sold them the alcohol can be sued. There are two types of cases that fall under dram laws. These are first party and third party cases.
First Party Cases
First party suits are those cases where the intoxicated person that was injured, and they are suing the bar for serving them too much alcohol. These types of cases, while allowable in Illinois, are difficult to win, because juries generally expect adults to be responsible when they go out, and not leave it to someone else to determine when they’ve had enough to drink. However, in extreme situations, these cases have been found valid.
Third Party Cases
A third party case is more common than a first party one. This is the case where you are injured in an accident caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol. In these suits, you as the injured party are holding the bar responsible for serving too much alcohol. This is a situation where you’re not trying to pass the blame for your own poor judgment onto someone else, but where you are extending responsibility to an additional party. That’s the core difference.
Negligence and Liability
Unlike other forms of personal injury case, negligence is not always the core of a dram shop case. In such a case, you may also cite reckless actions on the part of the bar or server of the alcohol, or malicious intentional actions. These claims are based on the idea that the service or facility served alcohol to someone they knew to be intoxicated and that this service was reckless or intentionally malicious.
Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
Proving liability in these cases can be tricky. That’s why it’s essential to have a qualified car accident attorney in your corner, who can gather the necessary information to prove your case. There are a lot of factors in this sort of lawsuit, and you could stand to recover significant damages, but only if you have someone ready to fight for you and protect your rights as the victim. If you would like more information on dram laws in Illinois, Disparti Law Group can help. Give us a call for a free review of your case today!