If you get hurt in an auto wreck caused by someone who was driving while impaired by alcohol, you will likely have grounds to demand compensation from that person’s insurance provider or from the driver’s personal assets. What you might not know, though, is that in certain situations you might have grounds to seek civil restitution from the business that sold the drunk driver an unsafe amount of alcohol.
The laws that govern claims like this are known as “dram shop” laws, and they can be difficult to interpret and make effective use of without the guidance of a seasoned personal injury attorney. By hiring a Winter Garden dram shop lawyer, you could more effectively enforce all of your rights after a drunk driving auto accident and get reimbursed fully for the damages you should not have sustained.
Under Florida Statutes § 768.125, a person who knowingly sells or provides alcohol to someone with a habitual drinking problem, or who willfully sells or provides alcohol to someone under the legal drinking age of 21, may bear civil liability for any injury that individual causes someone else through their own intoxication. It is worth emphasizing that there are numerous exceptions to when this “dram shop” law can be applied following a drunk driving crash or other similar accident.
For example, this law applies only to vendors who sell or provide alcohol to people who will then immediately consume that alcohol on the premises. This means it applies only to businesses like bars and restaurants, and not to businesses like convenience stores or liquor stores. Additionally, this law does not impose “social host liability” against people who serve alcohol to minors, or habitual alcoholics inside their own home or at any other private gathering.
Finally, proving that a bartender or owner had actual knowledge of someone’s drinking problem can be highly challenging, and a bartender overserving someone without a documented drinking problem is usually not enough to establish dram shop liability. A Winter Garden dram shop attorney could provide vital assistance with building a strong claim based on all available evidence and information.
Anyone who can prove someone knowingly overserved a minor or an alcoholic who then caused an accident while drunk can hold that vendor liable to pay for all losses they sustain because of that incident. This could include:
If applicable, a drunk driver and the shop that overserved could both be named as defendants in the same lawsuit or settlement demand. Each might bear liability that is proportional to the share of total fault they hold for the accident. A dram shop lawyer in Winter Garden could explain how this sort of claim might work in more detail during an initial consultation.
Dram shop liability is not as straightforward in practice as it might seem on the surface and it can be difficult for an injured person to establish liability alone. Fortunately, assistance is available from dedicated legal professionals at the Umansky Law Firm with experience handling similar cases in the past.
A Winter Garden dram shop lawyer could be the steadfast ally you need to obtain the financial recovery you deserve. Call today to set up a meeting.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys