Dram Shop Frequently Asked Questions
What do I have to prove to file a lawsuit against a Pennsylvania establishment that sold alcohol to a drunk driver who caused an accident and injured me?
Under Pennsylvania Dram Shop statutes, a DUI accident victim must show or prove that the driver was “visibly intoxicated” when he or she left the establishment. The victim also needs to prove that the business or its employees’ use of poor judgment, in serving an inebriated customer with more alcohol, caused your accident and the resulting injuries.
What does “visibly intoxicated” mean?
This is a much debated issue when it comes to Pennsylvania liquor liability laws. Visibly intoxicated means that the driver must have shown signs of such inebriation such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, unable to walk or even sit down, stumbling into objects, and so on.
What rights do I have if I was struck and injured by a minor driver, who obtained alcohol at a private party from an adult?
There is a chance that you can sue the adult, who should have known better than to serve alcohol to a minor, which is a crime under Pennsylvania law. A victim may be able to sue the adult under what is known as a “social host” theory of liability. If this host was an adult and deliberately and knowingly supplied alcohol to a minor who caused your accident, you may sue the adult host for your injuries, damages and losses.
What if I was the drunk driver who caused the accident? Can I sue the bar that kept serving me alcohol although they knew I was obviously drunk?
Yes, drunk drivers can sue bars or business establishments for continuing to serve alcohol to them despite knowing and understanding that they are visibly intoxicated. If you have, for example, sustained catastrophic injuries as a result of such a DUI accident, you could claim compensation from the establishment. However, remember that the value of your case or claim may be reduced depending on how much you are found to have been at fault for the incident.
Why do I need an attorney to prove a liquor liability case?
Dram Shop Laws are extremely complex. Proving an element of the case such as “visible intoxication” can be a tremendous challenge. You need the resources of an experienced and skilled PA liquor liability attorney, who can conduct an independent investigation, locate witnesses and other important evidence to bolster your case. Moreover, DUI accident victims are usually dealing with significant challenges including hospitalization, rehabilitation and medical bills. At this time, you need a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer on your side who will explore all avenues to obtain fair compensation for you.
What if I cannot afford an attorney?
The liquor liability attorneys at Cherry Injury Law work on a contingency fee basis. That means that unless we recover for you, we charge no fees. You have nothing to lose. Please call our skilled personal injury lawyers to find out how we can help.
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If you have been seriously injured in the state of Pennsylvania by the negligence of another and if you have questions or concerns about your legal rights, please don’t hesitate to call. Our Pennsylvania injury attorneys are available 24 hours a day to speak with you, and we welcome all calls at no charge. Contact us today at 610-816-0366.