When you are injured by an intoxicated driver, it can be difficult to know who to hold accountable. In some states, it is possible to sue the business or restaurant where the person got intoxicated through dram shop laws. The specifics can vary from state to state, which is why it is important to work with an experienced car accident attorney from the Law Office of David E. Gordon.
A Cordova dram shop lawyer can guide you through the process of seeking justice through the local legal system.
About Dram Shop Laws
Dram shop laws allow plaintiffs to hold businesses (or a specific individual) responsible for a drunk person’s negligence. A dram shop is an establishment that sells alcohol and liquor, and the name refers to a “dram,” which is a small unit of liquid. Dram shop laws usually apply to restaurants, bars, concert and sports venues, night clubs, and liquor stores, to name just a few examples. The purpose of such laws is to discourage the sale of alcohol or liquor to minors or those who are clearly under the influence.
The state’s dram shop law can be found in Tennessee Code § 57-10-102. In limited circumstances, it allows a plaintiff who has been injured by an intoxicated person to seek compensation from the establishment that sold the alcohol to that person. An injured plaintiff could bring a dram shop lawsuit forward when the vendor knowingly sold alcohol to someone younger than 21 years old or who was clearly drunk, and the consumption of alcohol directly caused the injury. A jury of twelve people must find beyond a reasonable doubt the sale of alcohol to the defendant was the cause of the accident. This state has a higher standard of proof than some other states, which only require a preponderance of evidence. Board-certified personal injury lawyer David E. Gordon is familiar with dram shop laws in Cordova and can make sure evidence standards are met.
In civil cases, plaintiffs can seek damages from the defendant as long as the lawsuit is filed prior to the deadline set by the state’s statute of limitations. Tennessee is a comparative fault state which can affect the jury’s decision as to damages. The degree to which the plaintiff contributed to the injury will most likely decrease the amount of damages they can receive. David can help estimate how much each party contributed to the accident and push for most or all of the blame to go to the defendant.
Damages are normally either economic or non-economic. Economic damages can include things like the cost of rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and medical bills. Non-economic damages are more subjective, but still have a right to be addressed. Some examples of non-economic damages could be pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, or emotional trauma. A lawyer in Cordova who is skilled in dram shop lawsuits can assess the maximum damages his client can seek.
Contact a Cordova Dram Shop Attorney for Help
When you or a loved one sustain an injury because of someone else’s intoxication, it can be difficult to hold vendors accountable for overserving alcohol to minors or visibly intoxicated patrons. Dram shop cases can be complex and fact specific. Contact a Cordova dram shop lawyer who can examine the specifics of your case and help you determine if legal recourse is available. Consultations with David are free.