There is no question that drinking and driving is a dangerous combination. When impaired drivers cause an accident, they might not be the only party at fault. In Memphis, it is possible to pursue a civil lawsuit against the person or establishment that oversold alcoholic beverages to the impaired driver through something known as “dram shop” laws.
A Memphis dram shop lawyer can help pursue a case for compensation under specific circumstances. Reach out to the Law Offices of David E. Gordon to speak with an experienced car accident attorney about your situation and to learn whether you have a claim.
Qualifying for Dram Shop Litigation
Three important elements must be met for a dram shop claim to succeed. This means there are situations where an impaired person could cause an injury, but dram shop laws do not apply. In those situations, a civil lawsuit might still be viable against the impaired party.
In a dram shop case, the defendant must have provided alcohol to the impaired motorist. Dram shop lawsuits are never appropriate in circumstances where a person served themselves. The impaired person must have also been either a legal minor or “visibly intoxicated.” This is the issue that is central to most dram shop cases. It is also the reason why bartenders are not always liable when they serve someone that is involved in a later crash because “visibly intoxicated” is a subjective standard.
The final element involves a link between the sale of alcohol and the injury itself. For example, if an injury involving an impaired person is primarily the result of some kind of mechanical failure, this element is not met.
Our dram shop attorney in Memphis can help an injured person evaluate their case and pursue litigation against the responsible party.
Expanding the Use of Dram Shop Laws
Dram shop laws are typically associated with pursuing legal action against drunk drivers. However, it is helpful to understand that state law allows these claims in any situation where an impaired person causes an injury. This could include scenarios such as boating collisions or an impaired person injuring someone after tripping into them.
It might not always be clear when dram shop laws apply. The good news is that an injured party never has to figure out the answer to these complex legal questions on their own. A Memphis dram shop attorney could review all the facts of an injury before advising on when compensation might be available.
Talk to a Memphis Attorney About Your Dram Shop Claim
The prospect of pursuing a dram shop lawsuit might seem unusual to most people who are not familiar with the legal system. However, it is a viable option in cases where a person negligently provided a minor or an impaired person with alcohol. If you believe you have a claim, let a Memphis dram shop lawyer help. Reach out to the Law Offices of David E. Gordon for a complimentary consultation.