“Dram Shop” is the legal term for an establishment such as a bar, restaurant, tavern, liquor store or other entity that serves or sells alcoholic beverages. Under several state Dram Shop laws it is illegal for such establishments to serve alcohol to persons who are “visibly intoxicated.” Dram Shop law allows third-parties that are injured by an intoxicated person to maintain a personal injury action against the establishment for their injuries and damages.
Dram Shop lawsuits frequently occur when an intoxicated patron is improperly served and subsequently injures another person in a motor vehicle accident. However, lawsuits under Dram Shop laws are not limited to only motor vehicle accidents. For instance, innocent persons assaulted as a result of an intoxicated patron can also maintain a successful Dram Shop action against an establishment that negligently over-serves one of its patrons.
A successful Dram Shop action against a bar, restaurant, tavern or liquor store generally requires a plaintiff to prove that the person who caused their injury was intoxicated, that they were provided alcohol by the establishment, and that the establishment caused or otherwise contributed to the person’s intoxication. Although the elements of a successful Dram Shop action are few, establishing liability against a bar, restaurant or tavern under Dram Shop laws is a difficult task often relying on expert testimony and other evidence to successfully establish a causal link.
Hiring an attorney will increase your chances of success in a Dram Shop action and enable you to recover the full value of your injuries and damages. Call one of our offices to today to have your Dram Shop questions answered.
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