Many catastrophic injuries are a result of accidents caused by intoxicated individuals. In particular, drunk driving accidents and drunken physical altercations are common causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States. If you have sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to a drunk driving accident or drunken physical attack, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries with help from a DC dram shop lawyer.
While the drunk driver or assailant can be prosecuted for the injuries sustained, the business or businesses that sold the drunk driver or assailant alcohol can also be held liable for your injuries under the law. Dram shop laws are statutes that hold businesses liable for the actions of a drunken patron or guest to whom the business sold alcohol. Through dram shop laws, you can receive compensation from the business that sold your defendant alcohol.
Dram shop laws are implemented in 42 states, plus Washington D.C. The 8 states that do not have these laws are Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, and Virginia. Dram shop laws differ from state to state. However, the premise remains the same: businesses that sell alcohol can be held liable for a consumer’s drunken actions if that business sold an excessive amount of alcohol to the consumer, sold alcohol to the consumer while they were obviously intoxicated, or sold alcohol to someone under 21 years old.
Dram shop laws do not place full responsibility on the business for serious injuries. In drunk driving and drunk physical altercation cases, it is understood that the driver/assailant is partially responsible for their own actions that caused the injuries. However, dram shop laws hold businesses responsible for serving alcohol in a safe manner; if a business is proved to have unsafely sold alcohol to a consumer, who then caused serious injuries to another person or people, the business will hold shared responsibility for the injuries sustained.
If you have sustained a catastrophic injury, such as an SCI or TBI, from a drunk driving accident or drunk physical altercation, you must first find an experienced DC dram shop legal team to help you assess your legal options. The Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm has handled many dram shop cases in the past and can help you successfully receive compensation for your injuries.
The first step to hold a business liable for your injuries is to identify where the drunk driver/drunken assailant purchased alcohol before the incident. Then, the dram shop laws in your state are used to develop a legal case to hold the business or businesses liable for your injuries. To have a successful dram shop claim, you must prove that the business unsafely sold alcohol to the intoxicated person who caused the injury. Unsafely selling alcohol includes selling an excessive amount of alcohol, selling alcohol to someone who is obviously intoxicated, or selling alcohol to someone under 21 years old.
To prosecute a business for selling an excessive amount of alcohol to the defendant, you must prove negligence or intentional misconduct on the part of the business. To prosecute a business for selling alcohol to the defendant who was drunk at the time of the purchase, it must be proven that the business sold alcohol to the intoxicated defendant and that the business’s alcohol sale contributed to the defendant’s intoxication. Lastly, if the defendant in your case is under 21, you must simply prove that the establishment sold alcohol to the defendant.
If the dram shop lawsuit is successful, the business that sold alcohol to the drunk driver/assailant will be required to compensate you for your injuries. Compensation can include money for your past and future medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, and pain and suffering.
If you have sustained a serious injury, and if an intoxicated individual is responsible for your injury, you may be able to pursue a dram shop case. Contact The Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm at 1-877-SCI-FIRM today to connect with an experienced DC dram shop lawyer. We know serious injuries and can fight for you.
Kelley is an asset not only to the SCI community, but a force to be reckoned with. Anyone would be lucky to have her fighting on their side! – Sunni
After my wife had a traumatic brain injury we had so many questions. Kelley took the time to answer all of our questions and worked hard for us. Kelley is an excellent lawyer. We were lucky to have her guide us through a difficult time. – Jose