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Can I Sue a Restaurant or Bar for a Drunk Driving Accident?

When someone drinks too much and gets behind the wheel, they can cause a serious accident, inflicting life-threatening injuries to themself and others. When the drunk driver was at a bar or restaurant before driving home, many victims question if they can sue the establishment for their injuries.

Florida is one of several states that has adopted a dram shop law. However, pursuing a claim against a restaurant or bar can be challenging to do by yourself, so you may want to partner with an experienced Florida car accident attorney.

What Are Dram Shop Laws?

Dram shop laws give victims injured in drunk driving accidents the right to take action against a third party who supplied the alcohol. Under Florida Statute 768.125, anyone who sells alcohol to someone underage can be held liable for any accidents or injuries they caused while intoxicated. Additionally, anyone who serves alcohol to a known alcoholic may be held responsible for any accidents or injuries they cause.

Unlike other states with similar laws, Florida does not hold establishments, such as bars and restaurants, liable for serving alcohol to already intoxicated individuals. Accident victims can only file a claim if the establishment sold alcohol to anyone underage or a habitually addicted person.

How to File a Dram Shop Claim in Florida

You have four years from the accident date to file a dram shop claim against another party in Florida. Once time runs out, you will no longer be able to file a claim. It must be found that the bar or restaurant negligently served alcohol. To prove negligence, your DUI accident attorney must show:

  • The defendant owed a reasonable duty of care.
  • The defendant breached that duty of care by acting in a certain way, such as serving alcohol to a known alcoholic or someone under 21.
  • It was the defendant’s actions or inactions that caused injury to the plaintiff.
  • The plaintiff was harmed or injured as a result of the defendant’s actions.

A dram shop claim is easier to prove if the individual is under 21, but it becomes much more challenging when they are legally allowed to drink. You’ll need substantial evidence that the person who caused your injuries is a habitual drinker. You’ll also have to show that the bar or restaurant should have known the individual is a known alcoholic. Due to the complex nature of these claims, you’ll need a personal injury attorney on your side.

Compensation Available from a DUI Car Accident

Financial compensation that accident victims may receive upon a successful result varies from case to case. After carefully reviewing your case and the circumstances leading up to it, your attorney might be able to secure you compensation for the following losses:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Future loss of income
  • In-home rehabilitation

Obtain Legal Representation from Experienced DUI Accident Attorneys in Florida

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident because of an intoxicated person, you might be able to receive financial compensation for your losses. In some cases, you might even be able to file a claim against a negligent bar or restaurant.

With more than 30 years of experience, Attorney Robert Baker of the Baker Legal Team is the number one choice for legal representation in South Florida. As a Board-Certified trial attorney, Robert takes great pride in his work, and you can be confident that he’ll do everything possible to win you the compensation you deserve. Throughout his career, Attorney Baker has recovered millions of dollars for his clients.

To schedule a free consultation, call (561) 320-0000 or complete an online contact form today.

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