Every state has “dram shop laws” that allow those injured by people who were served alcohol at certain establishments, the right to sue for damages. These types of lawsuits position bars, restaurants, taverns, and other similar establishments as the defendant when one of their customers becomes intoxicated and injures someone in an accident.
Conditional on the evidence, if you can show that the drunk driver who caused your injuries became intoxicated in a bar, you could have a case against that establishment.
There are two primary kinds of dram shop cases:
Exceptions are made, however, if the injured plaintiff is a minor. Drinking establishments are typically held responsible in this situation.
Dram shop laws outline the legal standard to which a plaintiff must adhere, the necessary evidence, and the damage caps for a dram shop case.
In order to prove the defendant drinking establishment was negligent, a third-party dram shop plaintiff must show the server continued to give the patron alcohol beyond the point where they should have reasonably known the patron was drunk.
If the plaintiff can show the defendant’s actions were reckless, meaning more “unreasonable” then negligent, he or she could possibly collect increased damages. Generally, this proof is mandatory in first-party cases.
Evidence to show negligence on the part of the drinking establishment could include:
Evidence to dispute negligence on the part of the drinking establishment could include:
Damages in dram shop cases are capped in some states- sometimes as low as $250,000.
Furthermore, an injured person may only have as few as 60 days to formally notify the bar that they intend to file a dram shop case. The requirements differ from state to state.
The statute of limitations vary as well, and may be shorter than for standard personal injury claims.
If you have been injured by a drunk driver or someone you love has been killed, it is important to speak to experienced Colorado DUI accident attorneys immediately. Your Colorado Springs drunk driving lawyer can discuss your accident and help you review all your legal options. Contact the experienced Colorado Springs personal injury attorneys at the Green Law Firm today to schedule a no-obligation consultation and discuss your case. Call us today at 1-719-694-8515.