South Carolina Injury Attorneys
Can Bars Be Held Liable for Drunk Driving Accidents?

Can Bars Be Held Liable for Drunk Driving Accidents?

While some drunk drivers are consuming alcohol in their cars or are coming from their homes, many may be coming from a bar, restaurant, or tavern where they had gotten drunk. When drunk drivers cause a car accident, they may be directly responsible, but can the restaurant or bar owners who served them alcohol be held liable for damages, too?

The answer is, in some cases, yes. All states have dram shop laws, which specifically hold owners responsible for accidents caused by a drunk patron. A dram shop is another name for a bar or establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold.

Types of Dram Shop Cases

There are two main types of dram shop cases that can apply depending on your unique situation:

First-Party Dram Shop Cases

This particular case occurs when the injured party is the person who was sold the alcoholic drinks. These cases are challenging to win, because many juries tend to feel that individuals should be responsible for their actions – they may be less inclined to believe that the injured party deserves compensation, because they were the one to cause the accident.

The exception to this rule is if a first-party dram shop cases involves minors. If an establishment serves a minor and gets them drunk, they will most likely be held responsible by juries.

Third-Party Dram Shop Cases

This case exists when the injured party is someone other than the drunk driver who caused the accident. This case is generally easier to win, as the injured individuals only needs to prove that the bar was negligent. Negligence is established by being able to prove that the bartenders or servers at the establishment continued to serve the patron while knowing they were drunk.

Important Evidence to Establish in a Dram Shop Case

In order to have a solid dram shop case, lawyers need to be able to prove negligence. There are a variety of ways one can reasonably accomplish this.

Evidence that can be used in a case includes:

  • The bar served a patron without requesting to see their ID
  • The bar served a patron who appeared to be intoxicated
  • The bar served a patron after closing time
  • The bar served a patron who would likely become intoxicated after the amount they served

If you’ve been injured and want to hold the bar or restaurant that over-served the drunk driver responsible, you deserve a team of professionals who can fight for your rights to compensation.

Committed to Achieving Justice for Clients

Car accidents are a leading cause of injury in the United States, and can produce injuries as minor as whiplash and sprains, and as serious as brain and head trauma, spinal cord injuries that can cause paralysis, and death. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you might be left with medical bills and lost wages from missing work that can bring a lot of stress and uncertainty into your life. At Christian & Christian, our car accident lawyers want to help you recover by achieving the compensation you deserve. We make sure those responsible don’t evade liability for their actions because you deserve to heal efficiently and securely.

Call Christian & Christian at (864) 408-8890, or contact us online if you’ve been involved in a car accident caused by another’s negligence. In South Carolina, you have three years to file a personal injury claim, but you can get started now by calling our team.


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