When you have been injured by a drunk driver, you might be aware that you can sue the person who hit you. You could also potentially bring legal action against the business that sold liquor to the driver because of the dram shop law. An experienced car accident attorney can help you file suit against the responsible parties.
When you get hurt because a bar or other business provided alcohol to someone they should not have sold to, they may owe you compensation. An Olive Branch dram shop lawyer at the Law Office of David E. Gordon can explain your rights in this situation.
Overview of the Dram Shop Law
The dram shop law allows people injured by someone else’s intoxication to sue the business that sold them the alcohol if the person who caused the injury was visibly intoxicated at the time of the sale. Bars, restaurants, casinos, taverns, dance clubs, and liquor stores could fall under this law.
Dram shop liability is not limited to drunk driving. It also applies to other accidents caused by intoxication. If a local bar overserves someone who was already obviously drunk, and they stumble down the stairs into a bystander, the bystander could take legal action against the bar as well as the intoxicated person for injuries sustained in the accident.
For dram shop liability, the patron must have been visibly intoxicated, which is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Signs pointing to visible intoxication might include slurring words, loud and agitated behavior, repeatedly stumbling or tripping, emanating an odor of alcohol, or fumbling with money.
Strict Liability for Minors
The dram shop law also covers injuries caused by intoxicated minors (under 21). It does not matter whether the minor was visibly intoxicated, because they were not legally allowed to drink. Because it is unlawful to sell or furnish alcohol to minors, businesses and even social hosts could be liable in a lawsuit. Olive Branch dram shop lawyer David E. Gordon can help prove whether someone provided alcohol to a minor, and that minor caused an accident due to intoxication.
Damages Available in a Dram Shop Case
Injured people could recover compensatory damages through legal action. These damages could include:
- Lost income
- Medical bills
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost future earnings
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Damages are awarded according to fault. A jury can assign fault to all involved parties, including the injured client, intoxicated defendant, and dram shop defendant. This means that negligent conduct on the part of an injured person could adversely impact their damage award. However, because Mississippi is a pure comparative negligence state, the client could still get compensation even if they were almost entirely to blame.
An experienced lawyer can provide guidance on how fault allocation could impact an Olive Branch dram shop liability case.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in a dram shop case in this state is three years. The judge can dismiss the case if the injured party misses this deadline, so it is useful to consult Board-certified personal injury attorney David E. Gordon as soon as possible.
Call an Olive Branch Dram Shop Attorney for Help
After being injured by a drunk driver or intoxicated person, you might be able to take legal action against both the driver and the business that served them alcohol. If the driver was a minor, you might be able take action against a social host who served them and get economic and non-economic damages to compensate for your injuries.
Filing deadlines apply, so time is a critical factor. To have an Olive Branch dram shop lawyer help you bring legal action against appropriate parties, contact David E. Gordon for a free consultation.