Columbia Dram Shop Liability Lawyer
Every year, drunk drivers kill and hurt an unbelievable number of people. Alcohol is not authorized to be sold to inebriated people or individuals under the age of 21 in establishments that sell or serve alcoholic drinks by law. If they do, and the intoxicated individual is involved in a car accident as a result of being too drunk to drive, the business may be held liable. If you or someone you love has been hurt or killed as a result of a drunk driver, contact us now to learn more about your legal options.
What Is Dram Shop Liability?
A dram shop attorney is a personal injury lawyer who specializes in claims against bars that over-serve patrons who are intoxicated. Unfortunately, some bars prioritize profits above safety, resulting in countless deaths.
The word “dram shop laws” comes from the term used to describe liquor sellers in previous generations. Dram shop liability refers to a bar, restaurant, or liquor store’s (or any other business selling alcohol) liable for harm caused by an over-served consumer. If an accident occurs as a result of a dram shop, these liquor outlets are typically held liable for one of the following:
- Providing alcohol to a minor driver
- Selling or supplying alcohol to someone who is intoxicated is illegal
When a patron of a bar, restaurant, or liquor shop stumbles or slurs their words, they are considered to be overly intoxicated. The problem is whether a reasonable person would have realized that the individual was too drunk to be supplied alcohol in these situations.
Columbia Dram Shop Laws
Dram Shop laws in Columbia prohibit places such as restaurants, pubs, and clubs from supplying alcohol to minors or drunk people. If a restaurant, bar, or club breaks such Dram Shop restrictions and someone is hurt as a consequence, the business can be held liable. Our attorneys at the Marc Brown Law Firm are knowledgeable with these laws and have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in matters involving alcohol service.
In some cases, Columbia has a particular statute and common law that controls the responsibility of eateries, bars, private clubs, and even individuals (social hosts) for the service of alcohol. These laws control dram shop liability, tavern owner responsibility, liquor liability, and social host liability, and they may empower a claimant to hold such a business or individual liable for injuries or death resulting from the service of alcohol. It is unlawful to “knowingly” provide alcohol to anybody who is inebriated. To bring a Dram Shop case, the aggrieved party must prove that a business or individual intentionally provided alcohol to an inebriated individual by using the criminal statutes governing alcohol control (S.C. Code Ann. 61-4-580).
In most cases, a victim of an accident caused by someone else can submit a claim for damages against the at-fault driver’s insurance company:
- Medical expenses
- Damage to property
- Wages lost as a result of time away from work
- Pain and suffering
However, if the drunk driver who caused your accident simply has the bare minimum liability insurance coverage needed by state law, it may not be enough to pay your losses. Worse, some auto insurance policies expressly prohibit coverage for losses caused by drunk driving. This is when the concept of dram shop liability comes into play.
Contact Our Columbia Dram Shop Injury Lawyer Today
Liability issues involving a dram shop are complicated. Bringing claims against several defendants, negotiating with various insurance companies, and perhaps filing litigation against any or all of them is nearly hard for the normal individual to undertake on their own, especially if they are receiving treatment for significant injuries.
Call our Columbia dram shop injuries lawyer at Marc Brown Law Firm if you have been hurt by a drunk driver and feel the intoxication was caused by a third party’s carelessness. We can work together to evaluate if a third party can be held legally liable.