Determining liability is one of the most complex elements of an alcohol injury claim. While drunk drivers are often the most obviously guilty party in these cases, many victims wonder about bar liability for alcohol injuries.
If the person who caused your accident was overserved at a bar or restaurant, you might want to seek compensation from the business.
Below, we will examine the legal possibility of bar liability for alcohol injuries. If you have been harmed because of the actions of a negligent individual or business, do not wait.
Reach out to the skilled legal professionals at the firm of Morgan & Morgan. Our compassionate specialists will happily provide you with a free consultation.
Fill out the contact form online to plan your no-cost case evaluation. Our team is ready to fight for the financial recovery you need.
The Effect of Alcohol on Drivers
It is always dangerous and illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Drivers who have been drinking experience inhibited response times and put those around them in danger.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 11,600 alcohol-related traffic deaths in 2020. This is the equivalent of 32 fatal motor vehicle accidents every day.
Sadly, alcohol-related car accidents, injuries, and deaths are common. You may be entitled to significant compensation when you or someone you love has been injured in an alcohol-related traffic collision.
Speaking with a personal injury attorney in the aftermath of one of these incidents is critical.
Alcoholic beverages reduce brain function in motorists. Overconsumption of alcohol results in impaired reasoning abilities and decreases in muscle coordination.
These biological functions are necessary to operate a passenger vehicle safely. The more alcohol a driver has ingested, the higher the risk that they will cause an accident or injury.
A motorist’s alcohol level is determined by the amount of alcohol in their blood. This measurement is known as their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).
Drivers with a BAC of at least .08 grams per deciliter of blood are at a much higher risk of causing a crash. Because the dangers are so pronounced, it is illegal to drive if you have had enough alcohol to cause a BAC of .08 or higher.
Blood alcohol concentration can be measured using a device known as a “breathalyzer.” This mechanism can measure the BAC of a driver by sampling their breath.
Some of the most common outcomes of high BAC include:
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
- Decreased reaction time
- Slowed thinking and cognitive impairment
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of inhibition
- Decreased alertness
- Lack of self-control
When drivers experience these symptoms, they are likely to cause traffic collisions leading to injuries or deaths. If you have been hurt in a collision, you might consider bar liability for alcohol injuries.
The accomplished personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan will help you hold any responsible parties accountable for the harm you have experienced. We believe that victims of alcohol injuries deserve financial compensation to help them move forward.
Can I Claim Bar Liability for Alcohol Injuries With Dram Shop Laws?
There are many ways that you might become injured as the result of a bar overserving its patrons. For example, a drunk driver might collide with your vehicle and cause you harm. Alternatively, you might experience a slip and fall accident due to being overserved.
Statutes overseeing lawsuits related to alcohol injuries are known as “dram shop laws.” Every state in the nation has dram shop laws on the books.
Dram shop cases are lawsuits where the defendant is a tavern, pub, bar, restaurant, or other business that serves alcoholic drinks. Dram shop lawsuits occur when an establishment’s customers become inebriated and cause an accident.
If you are injured by a drunk motorist and can prove that they became inebriated at a particular bar, you may be able to hold that establishment liable. This is known as a “third party” dram shop claim.
The likelihood of winning a third-party dram shop lawsuit will depend on the case's specific circumstances. Dram shop laws are determined at the state level.
In some cases, proving bar liability for alcohol injuries can be achieved by showing the following:
- The establishment served a patron without requesting identification
- The establishment served a patron who was already intoxicated
- The establishment served a patron after the bar was closed
- The establishment served a patron an excess of alcohol
To better understand the dram shop laws in your state, reach out to a knowledgeable legal expert. Having a legal representative fight for you will give you the best chance of recovering the financial compensation you are rightfully owed.
For this reason, it is critical to speak with an attorney regarding bar liability for alcohol injuries. A skilled legal professional at the firm of Morgan & Morgan will review the facts of your case and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Slip and Fall Alcohol Claims
Another type of alcohol-related injury occurs when patrons fall in a bar and suffer harm. If the falling accident was the result of overserving, the victim might be able to file a “first person” dram shop lawsuit.
This type of legal claim is not permitted in every state. Some states assume that patrons assume the risk of drinking alcohol when they purchase beverages from a restaurant or bar.
But if the victim is a minor, the bar can be held liable for illegally serving them alcoholic beverages. Additionally, business owners can be held accountable if a slip and fall injury results from unreasonable hazards on the premises.
For example, suppose that you were hurt after slipping and falling on a wet floor in a bar. If there was no appropriate signage warning you about the hazard, you might have grounds for a valid premises liability claim.
Falling accidents are some of the leading causes of personal injuries nationwide. If a bar owner does not provide patrons with a reasonably safe environment, they may be financially responsible for the damages that result.
Some of the typical factors that can result in falling accident injuries are:
- Loose wires or electric cables
- Wet surfaces from leaks or spills
- Slick floors and surfaces
- Objects lying in walkways
- Loose or broken steps
- Broken or insufficient handrails
- Lack of proper signage for hazards
If any of these circumstances have led to your falling accident in a restaurant or bar, you may be able to file a legal claim for damages. It is vital to consult with one of the compassionate lawyers at Morgan & Morgan following an alcohol-related injury.
Categories of Financial Compensation in Alcohol-Related Injury Claims
You will probably face many financial challenges when you have been injured in an alcohol-related incident. Most people underestimate the monetary costs of a personal injury until they experience one.
Fortunately, victims have the legal right to pursue financial recovery for many different types of harm. The payments for the harm that victims experience are known as “damages.”
In most successful tort claims, plaintiffs can hope to recover two distinct kinds of compensation. These categories are “special” and “general” damages.
Special Damages in Alcohol Injury Claims
Special damages in tort cases are also sometimes called “economic” damages. These financial payments compensate victims for their monetary expenses.
Injuries do not only cause emotional and personal harm. You may face skyrocketing medical bills and other monetary losses when you have been injured in an alcohol-related accident.
Special damages in personal injury lawsuits may include payments to cover:
- Past and current medical expenses
- Expected future medical care costs
- Lost income and missed wages from an inability to work
- Long-term loss of ability to earn income
- Associated property damage, such as vehicular repair
A skilled lawyer will review the financial documentation related to your alcohol injury to determine appropriate special damages. At Morgan & Morgan, we will assess the value of your claim using receipts, bills, invoices, and more.
General Damages in Alcohol Injury Claims
General damages are also referred to as “non-economic” damages. These financial payments compensate victims for emotional, personal, and psychological losses.
Some of the most common examples of general damages in alcohol injury claims include compensation for:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Mental anguish and distress
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium or relationship (in a wrongful death claim)
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Disfigurement and scarring
Because these types of harm are subjective, it can be difficult to calculate the value of general damages in your alcohol injury claim. Do not let a greedy business owner or insurance provider deny you the full value of your case.
Non-economic damages comprise some of the most devastating outcomes in the wake of a personal injury. We have decades of experience determining the value of accident and injury cases at Morgan and Morgan. We will fight vigorously to recover every cent that is rightfully yours.