A dram shop is defined as a commercial establishment that sells alcohol.  Dram shop laws were created to hold businesses such as bars, restaurants, stores, concert venues, and others responsible for overserving alcohol to patrons who then go on to injure or kill other people.  A common example is a night club bartender who serves a visibly intoxicated person before he gets behind the wheel of a car and causes a catastrophic wreck.

In some states, such as Georgia, dram shop laws may also extend to private individuals who contribute to the intoxication of a guest at their residence or a private party.  If that intoxicated person injures or kills another person after being overserved, a claim may be filed against the residence owner and/or other person in control of the event.  Furthermore, in some cases, a claim may be filed against a person who was not at the event at which intoxication took place.  This typically happens when a parent or legal guardian allows their underage child to serve alcohol to others at an unsupervised party.

Winning a Dram Shop Legal Claim

Requirements for proving and winning a dram shop lawsuit vary from state to state.  For example, in Georgia, a plaintiff must generally prove all three of the following:

  • The person who caused the tragic event was noticeably intoxicated while at the establishment.
  • The dram shop owner, server, party host, or other responsible person knew or should have known that the intoxicated person would be operating a car or other potentially dangerous vehicle.
  • The intoxication caused or was a key reason for the accident.

In addition to the above legal requirements, the issue of insurance coverage is always a factor in dram shop litigation.  The best attorneys in this practice area will know how to find insurance policies that provide coverage in cases involving intoxication.  They will also know how to negotiate with insurance companies, claims representatives, and defense attorneys so that a fair result is achieved for the injury victim and his or her family.

Investigation is Key in Dram Shop Cases

Considering the requirements involved in dram shop cases, it is critical to have a thorough and complete investigation into the events surrounding the accident and injuries.  This is where an experienced dram shop attorney can make an enormous difference.  The team at Attorney Client Match will ensure that you are matched to legal representatives who are completely committed to an extensive investigation. This includes the collection of video footage, witness statements, credit card and purchase receipts, police and toxicology reports, and any other information that will help (or hurt) your claim.  For example, if video footage exists of the interactions between the server and intoxicated person, it will be collected, kept safe, analyzed, and utilized to ensure a fair and just settlement or verdict.  If experts are necessary, your legal team will provide them as well… at no upfront cost to you.

Contact an Experienced Dram Shop Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a drunk driver, contact our team at ACM today.  We will talk with you free of charge and determine whether a claim for economic damages should be investigated and/or pursued on your behalf.  But please do not delay.  Preserving evidence is always a challenge in alcohol overserving cases, and deadlines do exist for bringing a claim.  Please also note that all information you share with us is completely confidential and will only be shared with the attorney or law firm with whom you are matched. There is no risk in speaking with an experienced professional and we look forward to answering your call.

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