How to Get Compensation for an Alcohol Related Accident

Posted by: DFX on Oct 28, 2016

DUIIf you or a loved one was involved in an accident with a minor who was intoxicated, then you may be wondering: How did that minor get the alcohol in the first place? Or if you were involved in an auto accident with an adult drunk driver, you may wonder if they were served by a bartender even when they were clearly intoxicated.

Whenever alcohol is involved, it’s normal to want to blame a third party for the accident. In Florida, it may be possible. We have what are known as “dram shop laws,” which allow a person who was injured in an accident to sue a third party for compensation. This could be a bartender, social host, or a worker at a liquor store. In short, it could be anyone who gave or sold alcohol to someone.

The specifics of dram shop laws

Any person who sells alcohol to someone who’s underage can be legally responsible for any injuries or accidents caused by that underage person when they were intoxicated. A person who sells alcohol to anyone – regardless of age – and knows they have a drinking problem can be liable for injuries or accidents as well.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that Florida’s laws don’t cover serving alcohol to someone who’s already intoxicated. As a result, it’s not possible to sue someone for serving someone who was already intoxicated. You must be able to prove that the person serving them knew they had a problem with alcohol.

Damages you can sue for in dram shop cases

At its core, a dram shop law is basically the same as other personal injury liability law, with one specific difference: You’d be suing a third party instead of suing the individual who caused the injury directly. The types of damages you may be able to recover include:

  • Compensation for lost wages. This includes both wages and benefits like vacation that you would have earned if you hadn’t been injured.
  • Compensation for pain and suffering.
  • Compensation for all medical bills. This includes the cost of the ambulance, surgery, medications, emergency room bills, costs associated with hospitalization, and the cost of rehabilitative services.
  • Compensation for all property that was destroyed. This includes things like vehicles, your home, or even a fence.

If you think you may have a personal injury case against a third party then we urge you to call Gilbert & Smallman today for your free case evaluation.