A motor vehicle collision caused by a drunk driver often results in catastrophic injuries and devastating property damage. Whether it is an impaired driver crossing into oncoming traffic lanes or failing to stop at a busy intersection, these collisions can be severe and fatal. In many instances, it might be possible to hold the venue responsible for overserving the driver who caused the crash.
Dram shop liability is a legal concept that comes into play when an individual’s alcohol consumption can be traced to a particular establishment. Bars, restaurants and other establishments that serve alcohol could potentially be liable for damages if an individual leaves their place of business and causes a vehicle crash. After taking more than a year off, sports venues are operating at increasing capacity. With baseball and soccer in full swing, basketball and hockey in their respective playoffs, and football right around the corner, this summer could be a busy one for spectator sports. And, unfortunately, drunk drivers attempting to make their way home from the stadium after the event ends. More impaired drivers on the roads means more chances for trouble.
How often does “dram shop liability” play a part?
While it might be challenging to prove the dram shop aspect of a case, it is still a worthwhile action. Establishments have a duty to keep their patrons safe and this responsibility can often extend past their doors. Different states have different versions of these laws, but in New Jersey an injured individual is entitled to seek monetary damages from a vendor if:
- The person who ultimately caused the collision was visibly intoxicated when they were served or allowed to purchase the alcohol.
- The vendor had reason to believe the patron was a minor and still sold or served alcohol to the individual.
After a serious motor vehicle collision, victims can seek money damages for lost wages, medical bills, property damage, physical therapy, and pain and suffering. It is wise to act quickly to thoroughly understand your rights.