If you or a loved one has been injured from a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering. Therefore, you should hire the best drunk driving auto accident lawyer that you can find. Our firm charges no legal fees until you receive a settlement or award. Call us toll free 24/7 at 1-800-992-6878 or contact us online for a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.
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If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident in which you suspect alcohol may have been involved, you may want to speak with an attorney who is experienced in handling liquor liability claims.
Many states impose liability on bars, liquor stores and other establishments for serving liquor to visibly intoxicated persons who subsequently cause death or serious injury to someone else. Some states impose Dram Shop Laws. The word “dram” is the unit of liquid measurement used to serve alcohol in Colonial times. Dram Shop laws hold alcoholic beverage servers financially liable for harm that visibly intoxicated individual’s cause to other people, themselves, or property. The laws are established at the state level. They also can apply to social clubs or private events, or anywhere liquor is served. The laws can also prohibit selling liquor without a license, selling liquor after hours and selling liquor to minors. Frequently a Dram Shop case arises from an automobile accident involving drunk driving.
In Rhode Island, the Dram Shop Act was repealed in 1986 and was replaced by the Liquor Liability Act. The Liquor Liability Act is in place in an effort to prevent death and injury as a result of alcohol consumption. Those liable under the act include an alcoholic beverage retail licensee and any employee or agent of such a licensee or any person required by law to have an alcoholic beverage retail license and any employee or agent of those persons. The Liquor Liability Act does not impose liability for social hosts.
Social host liability is an attempt to hold defendant-party hosts liable for injuries to those who have consumed liquor from the host. In 1995 Rhode Island refused to recognize social host liability. In some cases, however, liability could be imposed where there is a clear duty and no reasonable steps to protect the guest were taken.
In Massachusetts, those injured as a result of alcohol consumption have a few legal theories under which they could recover. These include, liability of a licensed establishment where the plaintiff
must prove things like the driver was served at the establishment where the server knew or should have known the driver was intoxicated and operation of the vehicle was reasonably foreseeable by the establishment. To be liable as a social host in Massachusetts the host must have some sort of control over the alcohol and can be liable in their home or for buying another drinks at an establishment. Other ways that parties can be liable for liquor liability in Massachusetts is, service to a minor, and service by a social host to a minor.
The following are just some Dram Shop, Liquor Liability or Social Host Liability Settlements:
- In New Jersey, a jury awarded $135 million to the family of a girl paralyzed in a 1999 automobile accident caused by a drunk driver leaving a New York Giants game.
- In Texas, a bar regular was given free drinks before broadsiding a Chevy Yukon at an intersection, leaving the driver a quadriplegic and his wife and son with minor injuries. The plaintiff was
- In Florida, a drunk driver struck a golf cart on the way out of a country club, killing a 9-year-old girl. The plaintiff was awarded $3,200,000.
- In Alaska, teenagers died in a collision with a barricade after being sold liquor at a bar. The plaintiff was awarded $1,700,000.
Contact the Law Offices of d'Oliveira & Associates
If you have been injured in an auto accident in which alcohol was involved, the Law Offices of d’Oliveira and Associates, P.C., can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Give us a call for a free consultation and remember you pay no legal fees unless a settlement is made on your behalf. We will be happy to meet with you at one of our fourteen locations in Rhode Island or Massachusetts.
Please contact the law offices of d'Oliveira & Associates at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form for a free legal consultation.