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Dram Shop Laws: Are Bars Liable For Drunk Drivers?

Following a drunk driving accident, it’s very common for the injured driver to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, in many drunk driving cases it’s possible, if not likely, that the drunk driver does not have the insurance or assets necessary to get the compensation that you deserve.

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, a bar or restaurant who served the intoxicated drive the alcohol may hold some responsibility, increasing your chances at compensation. Learn why you can and should sue a bar after you’ve been hit by a drunk driver with help from a Colorado Springs car accident attorney.

The Basics of Suing an Establishment

Dram shop laws allow you to sue a bar or restaurant, under specific circumstances, that served the intoxicated driver alcohol. For a bar or restaurant to be held liable under these laws, you must be able to prove that they served alcohol irresponsibly and that this directly led to your accident.

It’s crucial to note, however, that not every state has a dram law on the books, and others limit these cases to drunk driving accidents involving minors, so it’s important to learn the laws in your state to see if you’re allowed to file a suit. Colorado, for example, does have dram shop laws, which means a Colorado Springs car accident attorney can help you effectively plan your case so you get your needed compensation.

Types of Cases You Could Bring After a Drunk Driver Accident

Different from other types of personal injury lawsuit that you could file, bringing a suit against a bar or restaurant has two options that depend on how you were injured.

For instance, if you believe you were overserved at a bar, crashed your car and suffered injuries, then you would file a first party suit against the establishment that served you to the point of intoxication. On the other hand, if you were struck by a drunk driver and believe the bar that served them hold some fault, you would file a third-party case against the bar.

How You Could Prove Fault

Whether you’re planning on filing a third-party or first-party suit against a bar, your biggest responsibility will be to prove the fault of the establishment, which can be done by showing either recklessness or intent.

Recklessness can be shown in several ways, but the most important factor is that the bar or restaurant ignored evidence that a patron should be cut off and continued to serve them alcohol anyway. Typically, cases with recklessness center around alcohol being solved to a clearly drunk person.

Intent is slightly different than recklessness in that you will need to show that the server clearly knew it was wrong to give a person alcohol and then did so regardless. Cases with intent can involve a wide range of circumstances, but most usually involve serving alcohol to a known minor or a person with a history of alcohol abuse.

Retain a Colorado Springs Car Accident Attorney

Being hit by a drunk driver can be a truly devastating accident, especially suffer serious, expensive injuries. To get the compensation that you need for a better recovery, consult a Colorado Springs car accident attorney from Heuser & Heuser, LLP. The Heuser & Heuser legal team is well-versed in personal injury law and we will be sure to handle your car accident case the right way. Contact us today to learn about our services.

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