When someone causes an accident because they were drunk or under the influence of alcohol, they will be considered the sole negligent party in situations of a personal injury accident case. There are times, however, that the person or entity that provided alcohol to the negligent party, may also be partially responsible and thus able to be sued for compensation. This is known as dram shop liability. Understanding dram shop liability and how it relates to alcohol-related accidents can help you sue to right party and get you the compensation you need for injuries.
Understanding Dram and Dram Shop Liability
A dram is defined as a unit of measurement that a bar, tavern, pub, or other establishment that sells and distribute alcoholic beverages will use to actually sell that alcohol. For instance it may be a shot, 8 oz glass, can, a large stein, etc. Dram Shop Liability allows a person to sue those who served a negligent party alcohol. A case can be made, for instance, that a bar manager is responsible for the accident and injury because they knowingly allowed a customer to drink to excessive levels and allowed them to exit the establishment while under the influence in an unsafe manner (such as not making sure they get an Uber instead of driving their own vehicle).
Importance of Dram Shop Liability Laws for Personal Injury Cases
There are times that a drunk negligent party may not have car insurance or may not have enough assets to go after to fully cover the damages incurred due to your injury resulting from the accident. In such cases, being able to find another party to sue may be crucial in being able to fully cover all medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and any other damages incurred from the injury. Thus, dram shop liability can sometimes be an option to get the rest of the needed coverage.
It is important to note, however, that each state has different laws on dram shop liability. Each state essentially has a specific amount that an establishment must have served an under-the-influence negligent party in order for them to be considered negligent in an accident case. It can be very difficult to prove that an establishment served a certain amount of alcohol or was negligent in how they handled the customer. This is especially the case if the customer paid with cash. There usually must be clear proof in order to have a case against an alcohol-serving establishment such as a server not requesting ID, time stamped proof of serving a customer after closing hours, etc.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Dram Shop Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a drunk individual in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Law Office of Mark A. Smith represent clients injured in Pittsburgh, Homestead, Erie, Greensburg, and through the state of Pennsylvania. Call (412) 368-8398 or email us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 215 E 8th Ave, Homestead, PA 15120, as well as an office in Pittsburgh.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.