Holding Alcohol Serving Businesses Liable For DUI Car Accidents
If you were involved in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, blame for the crash rests first and foremost with the driver who chose to get behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol. But do any other parties share the blame? In some cases, the answer is yes.
Like many other states, Kentucky has what are known as “dram shop” laws. Kentucky’s law allows victims to hold bars and restaurants (or other entities with a commercial liquor license) liable for overserving someone who is plainly intoxicated, if that patron then goes on to injure or kill someone else.
At Hicks & Funfsinn Kentucky Lawyers, we are proud to advocate for personal injury victims and to help them seek the maximum compensation available. After a drunk driving accident, our investigation will include where the at-fault driver obtained alcohol before getting behind the wheel. If a bar or restaurant was to blame, we can name that business as a defendant in the litigation.
How Liability Is Determined
Obviously, bartenders and servers cannot keep an eye on every customer or prevent them from doing something dangerous after leaving the premises. That’s why Kentucky’s dram shop law is applied narrowly. It says that a business can be held liable if an employee continued to serve alcohol to a patron who was already noticeably intoxicated. That means a reasonable person would look at the patron and determine that he or she was intoxicated by alcohol.
The most common application for the dram shop law is DUI accident litigation, but the law could potentially apply to numerous injuries that a patron might cause due to being overserved.
What Else To Know About Dram Shop Liability
In a dram shop claim, you can seek damages from the bar or restaurant related to things like medical bills, property damage, lost wages (due to time away from work), permanent disability, and pain and suffering.
In any dram shop claim in Kentucky, the overserved patron in question must be of legal drinking age for the law to apply. This is usually not an issue unless the bar or restaurant was already so negligent as to be serving alcohol to minors.
Finally, the statute of limitations on a dram shop claim is within a year of the injury. It is in your best interests to pursue all personal injury claims as soon as reasonably possible to preserve evidence, witness statements and other important information.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation About Your Case
Hicks & Funfsinn Kentucky Lawyers has numerous offices throughout Kentucky, and we are pleased to offer free initial consultations to prospective clients. To schedule yours, call us at 859.533.8270 or send us an email. Hablamos español.