Personal Injury Lawyer | Over-Served At The Bar
Personal Injury Lawyer . We all like to have a good time, and for the most part we can tell when a good time will turn into a not-so-good time. But what about when we can’t?
We’d all like to think we know best when it comes to drinking, and we can be responsible for our own buzz. But if we’re too far gone to know when we should stop drinking, is it a bar’s responsibility to cut us off? And if they don’t, can they be held responsible if we get injured?
Dram Shop Laws
As bars were known in 18th Century England, most states have what are known as dram shop laws that extend the liability for intoxication-related injuries to the establishment that served the person who causes the injuries. Although state laws differ, a plaintiff will normally need to demonstrate:
Proof of sale of alcohol to the patron
Injuries sustained by the patron
Proximate cause between the alcohol sale and intoxication
Intoxication was at least one cause of the third-party damages
The classic example of dram shop laws: an over-served patron leaves the bar and drunkenly causes an accident. If the third parties injured in the accident sue the bar, the bar is liable for over-serving the patron.
But can dram shop laws cover the patron’s injuries? Like many legal questions, it depends on your state’s dram shop laws. Some states, like New Jersey, allow patrons to sue bars for over-serving, while other states, like New York, expressly prohibit patrons from suing bars in that scenario.
The biggest hurdle most patrons will face when claiming they were over-served is their own contributory negligence. Contributory or comparative negligence is a legal concept that divides fault between two or more parties responsible for injuries or damages. In some cases, multiple parties can be allocated a certain percentage of blame, depending on their behavior.
As a defense to a negligence claim, a bar could say that a patron was responsible for his own drinking and push some or all of the liability onto the patron. And some juries may not be sympathetic to someone who gets hurt or hurts themselves after drinking too much. -findlaw
If you feel that you’ve were over-served by a bartender, they may be liable. Contact a qualified personal injury lawyer to help fight for your rights. Contact Clekis Law Firm.