Being hit by a drunk driver is a terrifying experience, one that could have been prevented. It is worth pursuing financial compensation for anyone who may be responsible for your losses. Can you sue the bar that served that person alcohol for premise liability, then? The answer is maybe.
The legal team with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can assess your legal situation and the circumstances of the incident to offer clear insight into what your legal options may be. If we can go after the bar, we will do so. We offer free consultations to help you find out more. Contact our Florida premises liability attorney for insight now.
Can a bar be held liable for a drunk driver? Yes, but only in certain situations.
It may be possible to hold the bar, restaurant, or other location serving alcohol responsible for the losses you have incurred if you can prove that the location was fully aware or should have been aware that they were overserving the patron. Whether you can do this falls under the Florida dram shop laws put in place in 1980.
This law means that you may be able to sue the bar if you can show that one of two specific things occurred:
- The person who hit you was underage, and the bar served them alcohol illegally.
- The bar served alcohol to a person who was known to be an alcoholic.
The second situation is quite difficult to prove because you have to show that the bar knew that the driver had an alcohol dependency and still served them alcohol. Under dram shop laws, you may be able to show this occurred if the location knew that providing the person with alcohol would lead to intoxication or if they served alcohol past their closing time.
Additional circumstances may exist
Florida law also recognizes visible intoxication. For example, if the bar served alcohol to a person who was visibly intoxicated and that worker or establishment knew or in some way should have known that the patron was a danger to others, that can lead to liability claims.
Know your legal rights
In an accident like this, your settlement for being hit by a drunk driver should include all of the losses you have suffered and should spread liability among anyone who caused this to occur to you. While proving that an establishment has contributed to those losses is difficult to do, it is not impossible to do. The key is:
- Gathering all evidence in the case
- Speaking to patrons and workers of the establishment
- Determining whether the location checked the identification of a minor and still served alcohol to them
- What statements have been made by any party involved that could shed light on what occurred
Because this is challenging, it is beneficial to speak to an attorney about your case. It is not advisable to seek a claim for compensation like this without the help of an experienced premises liability attorney by your side. This can make a significant difference in what occurs. Our attorneys can help to uncover evidence, such as videos or witness statements, that could help to prove your case.
Schedule your free consultation today
If you were hit by a drunk driver, you have the right to compensation for the losses you incurred. Let a Florida premises liability attorney from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath help you find out who is responsible beyond that driver. Set up a free consultation by calling our team now at (561) 655-1990 and start on the path to getting the answers you need.