Wondering If You Have A Liquor Liability Claim For A Drunk Driving Accident?
Hundreds of people die in drunk driving accidents every year in Minnesota, and thousands more suffer life-altering injuries. After a drunk driving accident, the victims and their families are left with the astonishing realization that this didn’t have to happen. A drunk driver’s bad decision can take a devastating toll on the lives of innocent people.
What’s more, the web of causation often spreads beyond the drunk driver. The bar, restaurant, nightclub or other establishment that served them might also be responsible. At Hazelton Law Group in Bemidji, Minnesota, we help victims of drunk driving accidents pursue accountability from all the responsible parties through liquor liability claims.
The Basics Of Liquor Liability – Dram Shop Law
Liquor liability laws – also called “dram shop laws” – protect everyone on the roads by placing a legal obligation on establishments that sell alcohol. These laws require bars and other establishments to stop serving patrons alcohol when they show any signs of being drunk.
The reality, however, is that this doesn’t always happen. Sadly, many establishments will keep serving patrons well past the point of being drunk. When those patrons try to drive home, they end up in terrible and preventable car crashes, injuring or killing themselves and others. Or, they may end up in a fight, committing assault. Whatever form the harm takes, the bottom line is that those injured by the drunk person can pursue a liquor liability claim against the bar.
What If Only The Drunk Person Gets Hurt?
A drunk patron who injures themself does not have a claim against the bar. However, people dependent on them – such as spouse, a child or even a significant other – may have a claim against the bar. They can pursue compensation for their lost financial support and other expenses they’ve incurred as a result of the harm done.
How We Can Help You With A Liquor Liability Case
Our attorneys can help you determine whether you have a dram shop case against bar that served the person who hurt you. The sooner you contact us, the better we can help you. Our lawyers can start digging into key issues such as:
- Proving that the person was served while intoxicated: This requires finding others who were in the bar and witnessed the person being served more alcohol while intoxicated. Identifying these people is far more difficult the longer you wait. Also, memories fade (and are often already impaired by alcohol) so interviewing witnesses while their memories are fresh is critical.
- Gathering surveillance footage: Many bars have video surveillance systems. These are often to prevent employee theft or the giving away of free drinks. Some dram shop insurance companies require them for liability reasons. Immediately requesting that the bar secure the recordings can prove to be tremendously helpful.
- Determining whether any other establishments were also liable: The bar patron also may have been drinking at other establishments that might be potentially liable as well. This needs to be determined so that the conduct of those establishments can also be investigated.
We ‘Wrote The Book’ On Liquor Liability Law
Our firm offers a free book on Minnesota liquor liability. It provides an in-depth discussion of the law and the rights of the injured. To request the book – and learn more about how our lawyers can help you – please call 218-210-2043 or send us an email.