If you have been injured in a crash with an intoxicated motorist in Connecticut, you may seek compensation for your associated medical bills, lost income, and physical pain and suffering, from the at-fault driver or his or her insurance company. However, you may also be entitled to damages from the establishment that served the other motorist. At Weber & Carrier LLP, we understand how the state’s Dram Shop Act helps hold bars and restaurants responsible for over-serving that results in serious or fatal auto accidents.
Under state law, the liquor seller who served the at-fault driver prior to the crash may be held responsible for injuries suffered due to drunk driving collisions. This is only the case, however, if the driver was already intoxicated when he or she was served. For example, a man goes to a bar and is drinking with friends. While there, he becomes increasingly intoxicated and is noticeably slurring his words and stumbling, but the bartender continues to serve him drinks. Upon leaving the bar, the man gets behind the wheel and causes a wreck that results in you suffering serious injuries. You may be entitled to compensation from the establishment where the man was drinking.
Dram shop liability lawsuits cannot be based on the liquor seller’s negligence alone. Rather, you must show that intoxicated driver was served intentionally or recklessly in order to be awarded damages by the court.
The act caps the amount of damages a liquor seller may be ordered to pay you following a drunk driving accident at $250,000. This does not necessarily mean, however, that you will receive the maximum award. The court will base your award amount on its determination of the seller’s actual amount of liability.
Over-serving is not just dangerous for the purchaser, but also those he or she may encounter while intoxicated. Fortunately, the state’s dram shop liability law allows you the ability to hold liquor sellers responsible and to recover the compensation you need. More information about this topic is available on our web page.