3 reasons to file a dram shop claim after a drunk driving wreck

People are responsible for their own choices and actions. Those with driver’s licenses understand that it is illegal to drive after drinking. However, they might make the choice to drive because they overestimate their personal skill or underestimate the amount of alcohol they consume.

When drivers who are under the influence cause crashes, they are liable for the consequences of their own decisions. A drunk driving crash in Kentucky might lead to an insurance claim or possibly even a lawsuit against the impaired motorist. Many times, someone who causes a collision while under the influence was at a bar or restaurant prior to the incident.

If someone drinks far too much at a licensed establishment or purchases alcohol while underage, the business may have a degree of liability for any drunk driving crash that a patron causes. Why do those affected by drunk driving collisions sometimes decide to pursue dram shop claims against businesses?

Insufficient insurance coverage

Kentucky generally requires that people maintain adequate insurance coverage to drive. Someone willing to drive after drinking might also choose to drive without insurance. Even if they have coverage, it may be the lowest amount required by the law. Those with only $25,000 of bodily injury insurance coverage available may want to look at every option for recouping their losses.

Life-altering expenses

Even in scenarios where the driver who caused the crash had more insurance than the state required and personal assets to help reimburse the people affected, the total cost of a drunk driving crash can be catastrophically high. Particularly if someone suffers permanent injuries or families lose someone, the total lifetime expenses can be so significant that one party is unlikely to be able to fully cover them.

A desire to change business practices

Dram shop claims are only an option if a business very clearly violated liquor laws. The decision to serve someone who is not old enough to safely drink or who is already visibly intoxicated is unsafe and also illegal. Workers at a bar or management there might put higher tips or more sales ahead of legal compliance. The financial impact of a dram shop claim can force a business to change how it operates and might even result in it losing the right to serve alcohol.

Exploring every possible source of liability, including the responsibility of businesses that served the drunk driver, could limit the long-term losses that individuals and families must absorb after a drunk driving collision. For many, dram shop claims are as much about justice as they are about financial compensation. At the end of the day, the pursuit of a dram shop claim against a business could make a major difference for the people affected by drunk driving crashes and others in the community.


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