When someone is struck by an intoxicated motorist, it may be assumed that that driver alone bears liability in an ensuing civil case. However, there is another party that could be held financially liable for a drunk driving wreck.
In some cases, a skilled injury attorney could help you hold the bar or restaurant accountable for overserving alcohol to the driver who struck you. If you believe the defendant in your case was overserved alcohol, do not hesitate to contact a Phoenix dram shop accident lawyer.
Dram shop law applies when the owner or server at a bar or restaurant knowingly overserves an individual. If this individual then get behind the wheel of a vehicle and causes an accident that injures somebody else, a dram shop claim could be brought against the restaurant or bar by the injured plaintiff.
This claim essentially states that the server or owner of the establishment should have done more to prevent the individual from consuming too much alcohol or operating a vehicle while inebriated. In other words, the Dram Shop Act essentially allows the pursue compensation from both the drunk driver and the facility that served that person the substance that compromised his or her ability to drive safely.
While people commonly think of bars when it comes to dram shop liability cases in the area, attorneys also see these claims rise from overserving at restaurants. In fact, any facility that legally serves alcohol could technically be held liable under dram shop law.
Additionally, although drinking is typically associated with the evening, accidents related to overserving alcohol also occur during the day. The risk of these wrecks also increases during times of celebration, such as birthdays, holidays, or game days.
Anyone in Phoenix who believes their crash was caused by the other driver being overserved alcohol should contact an attorney quickly. An experienced lawyer could investigate the circumstances leading up to the wreck to determine if dram shop laws apply.
In order for a plaintiff to recover damages after a dram shop accident in Phoenix, they and their attorney must establish negligence on the part of the establishment. The first step to do this is to prove that the server or owner knew or should have known that the person drinking was intoxicated and therefore should not have been served anymore alcohol. This can be done through witness statements by the other patrons or through security footage that shows the individual demonstrating signs of intoxication.
The second part a plaintiff must prove is that the establishment failed to do anything to make sure the intoxicated person was not going to operate a vehicle. For instance, failing to have bouncers or staff members make sure that intoxicated patrons utilize taxis or rideshare services could be evidence of this.
Determining liability in these cases can be difficult. In some instances, the intoxicated motorist is entirely at-fault, but in other cases, the dram shop could hold some liability.
In Arizona it is possible for more than one party to be held legally responsible for an accident. Notably, the owner of the bar or eating establishment responsible for overserving a patron is generally less liable in these cases than the intoxicated driver.
Holding a bar or restaurant liable for overserving a customer could be difficult without legal guidance. With the guidance of a seasoned attorney, you could gather video footage, witness testimony, and other evidence to prove the server or owner knowingly overserved an intoxicated patron. To get started on your case, contact a Phoenix dram shop accident lawyer at our firm today.