Hurt by a Drunk Driver: Can I Sue the Bar?

You have probably heard stories about bars getting sued over patrons getting drunk and causing accidents, but are these tales true? Even if they are, does anyone really win money in that kind of lawsuit?

Yes, it’s true that in most states you can sue the bar or establishment that served the drunk driver, but that doesn’t mean that every bar can be held responsible for the actions of every person that they serve.

Some states hold businesses to higher standard than others, and a few consider drunk driving a personal responsibility when the driver is an adult.

Why Sue the Bar, Club or Restaurant?

If you have been hurt by a drunk driver, you have the right to sue that driver. So, why sue the bar that served them? In most car accident lawsuits, you are seeking money from the driver’s insurance company, and it is not unusual for a drunk driver to be uninsured especially if they have a prior conviction for DUI. Suing the bar may be your only means of recovering the compensation that you need to cover your medical bills, lost income and future expenses and losses.

If the drunk driver was a minor, there is also the matter of holding the establishment responsible for serving someone who was underage.

When Can A Bar be Held Liable?

Each state is different. Most states hold bars responsible for serving alcohol to minors. When it comes to adults, it varies more. For instance, in Florida a bar can be held liable for serving alcohol to a known alcoholic, while in New York it is illegal for businesses to serve or provide alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated. Obviously, it can be very difficult to prove either circumstance and you will need the help of an experienced and skilled drunk driving accident attorney to win the compensation you need and deserve.

To learn more about how McPhillips, Fitzgerald & Cullum LLP, can help you after a drunk driving accident, please call or contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.


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