Injured By a Drunk Driver? You May Be Able to Pursue a Dram Shop Claim.
Let Kent car accident lawyer Zach Herschensohn take a look at your case
While a drunk driver can be held responsible for injuring you in a collision, Kent car accident attorney Zach Herschensohn may be able to help you pursue a dram shop claim against a bar, restaurant or other establishment for providing alcohol to the driver who caused your crash.
Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC has won millions in settlements and verdicts for injury victims throughout the Seattle metro area and has the ability to hold irresponsible businesses accountable for their negligence. See what an experienced Kent car accident lawyer can do for you. Contact us today for your free consultation.
There’s never a good excuse to drive drunk, and if you’ve been injured in an accident with someone who was drinking and driving, you deserve justice and maximum compensation to make you whole again. Sometimes after a drunk driving accident, the intoxicated driver’s insurance policy doesn’t cover all your accident-related expenses. In a situation like this, it may be in your best interest to pursue a lawsuit in civil court against the drunk driver – but did you know you might be able to sue an establishment or alcohol retailer too?
Protect your rights and hire an attorney. Car accident lawyer Zach Herschensohn has a firm grasp on the dram shop laws in Washington state and can help you get the financial compensation you deserve. Whether it’s through a settlement or a verdict in court, our law firm will leave no stone unturned when it comes to building a strong case on your behalf that nets you a positive outcome.
What does dram shop mean?
A dram is a small unit of liquor and dram shop refers to licensed establishments that serve alcohol. In many states, there are dram shop laws that prevent bars, restaurants, saloons and other businesses from selling alcohol to someone who is visibly drunk. Establishments and employees who break this law may be held legally responsible if the intoxicated person damages property or injures someone else in an accident. Currently, 43 states have dram shop laws in place, including Washington state.
Can bartenders be held liable?
If a bartender serves liquor to someone who is visibly intoxicated and that person then injures or kills someone, the bartender may be held legally responsible for damages under the state’s dram shop laws.
Common signs bartenders should watch for to prevent over-serving someone include:
- Red, glossy eyes
- Slurred speech
- Flushed face
- Problems walking or standing
- Being overly aggressive or obnoxious
- Issues keeping their balance
How do you prove liability in a dram shop claim?
In order to hold an establishment legally responsible for damages, you must prove that the person serving alcohol or the place of business where the liquor was being served was being negligent. Witness testimony, surveillance videos, police reports, and blood tests showing the drunk driver’s blood alcohol content at the time of the crash are all pieces of evidence that may be able to prove the person who injured you had been over-served beforehand.
What is the statute of limitations for a dram shop claim?
In Washington state, you have three years from the date of your accident to file a dram shop claim. In most cases, your lawsuit will be dismissed if you miss this deadline, though there are some exceptions. Generally, you should always speak with an experienced lawyer to go over your legal options if you want to pursue a dram shop claim.
Get experienced representation with Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC
If you or someone you love is the victim of a drunk driving accident, it may be worth your while to see if you can pursue a dram shop claim. Establishments and their employees have a legal responsibility to make sure they don’t illegally serve those who are already intoxicated. Establishments also can be held accountable if they provide liquor to a minor and the minor is injured as a result.
Dram shop claims are often complex, and laws vary from state to state. That’s why it’s important to get someone with a deep understanding of Washington’s laws on your side, protecting your rights and fighting to get you maximum compensation. See what Kent car accident attorney Zach Herschensohn can do for you. Don’t forget – you pay nothing unless we win. That’s because we work on a contingency fee basis. Contact us today for your free consultation.