You May Be Able To Sue A Bar Owner For Serving Too Many Drinks To A Motorist

Law Blog

Some drivers, unfortunately, make the decision to visit a bar and then get in the car and head home. Then, when the motorist crashes into your car, they might cause you to become so injured that your life is completely turned upside down. After you have been treated for your injuries, you might be considering taking legal action against the driver. However, depending on the state in which you reside, you might also be able to take legal action against the bar that served them drinks.

How Dram Shop Laws Work

Some states have laws that are referred to as "dram shop laws." In these states, the bar is not allowed to serve alcohol to a patron who has already had too much to drink. The patron is actually allowed to sue the bar for allowing them to become too drunk, but these cases are difficult to prove. However, it's easier for a third party injured by the drunk driver to sue both the driver and the bar.

To successfully take legal action against the bar, you will need to prove that the patron was clearly intoxicated before they were served additional drinks. You may need to track down witnesses who remember the behavior of the patron.

The bar might be considered reckless if they knew that something dangerous would happen as a result of serving too many drinks but they ended up doing it anyway. However, in some states, you may only be able to hold the bar responsible if they served alcohol to a patron who was known to be an alcoholic or if they sell alcohol to a minor.

The Advantages of Taking Legal Action Against a Bar Owner

Taking legal action against a bar is a good idea because this will allow you to maximize your compensation. An auto insurance provider imposes a liability limit in which they will not compensate you beyond a certain point. If your accident leads to very expensive medical bills, it might make sense to also take legal action against the owner of the bar.

In some cases, the driver might not have auto insurance and your only option will be to take legal action against another party. A bar owner will often have more assets than an individual who cannot afford to maintain auto insurance. A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you determine the best way to move forward. 


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