Did a drunk driver hit you or a loved one? Did you suffer injuries or the loss of a dear family member? If you did, you may have legal recourse, but who can you hold accountable after a drunk driving accident? Just the driver, or is there anyone else?
In the Atlanta area, there is no shortage of bars and other establishments that serve alcohol. While there is nothing wrong with these places existing, what is wrong is when the staff members at these businesses over-serve their patrons and then send them on their way. This presents a great threat to public safety.
Sue the establishment
If the drunk driver who hit you was recently over-served at a bar, restaurant or other alcohol-serving establishment, you may file a lawsuit against the establishment as well as the driver in an effort to seek compensation for your losses. How is this possible? Dram shop laws.
Dram shop laws are in place to protect the public and hold establishments who over-serve their patrons accountable for their actions. In order to utilize dram shop laws to seek compensation for your losses, certain elements must exist in your case. While each state has its own variation of dram shop laws, the basic elements that must apply in these cases are:
- Proof of alcohol purchase
- Proof that purchase resulted in driver intoxication
- Proof of being over-served at an establishment
- Proof of injury or other loss due to driver intoxication
Gathering all the required evidence to pursue a dram shop claim can take time. Thankfully, legal counsel will know where to look.
When do dram shop laws not apply?
If an individual went to the liquor store, went home and got drunk, and then decided to go out for a drive, you cannot sue the liquor store. Dram shop laws do not apply to people serving themselves in the privacy of their own home. Dram shop laws may also not apply if an establishment took every precaution to not over-serve the patron.
Suffering injuries or losing a loved one in a drunk driving accident can turn your whole life upside down. The state of Georgia does allow victims or their surviving family members to seek monetary damages for any resulting losses experienced from such events. With assistance, you can file the appropriate legal claims against all those who may be accountable for the pain, suffering and damages you have endured.