What is Third Party Liability in a DUI Crash?

Third Party Liability

Last updated on June 19th, 2023 at 08:07 am

Every individual will be involved in an accident at some point in their lives. The damages victims of accidents suffer range from minor bumps and scratches to loss of limb and death. When an accident happens, the best action is to seek medical help and hire an attorney to fight on your behalf.

All accidents are not the same. This is particularly true with DUI accidents. There are chances that more than one party is responsible for this type of accident. Considering the complexity of DUI accidents, it’s always best to consult one of the DUI accident attorneys in your area. They will help you deal with the DramShopLaw, a rule that holds alcohol businesses accountable for DUI accidents.

What is the DramShopLaw?

The Dram Shop Rule is used to hold businesses that sell alcohol liable for incidents that cause injury, property damage, or death. The businesses include bars, taverns, stadium vendors, liquor stores, and restaurants with a liquor license.
The scope of the law was that the liquor establishments held some liability for supplying alcohol, enough to put an individual in an inebriated state. When the inebriated individual becomes a driver on the road and causes an accident, the establishment has some liability for the injuries and damages the individual has caused.
The DramShopLaw has been active since 1872. Around 1889, changes were made that limited coverage to businesses that were involved in the trade of liquor. The parties omitted were individuals hosting parties and private citizens.

DramShopLaw and Third-Party Liability

In the event of a DUI accident, the liable party is usually the intoxicated driver. However, the victim or the victim’s loved one (in the event of a wrongful death) can sue the establishment that served alcohol to the defendant (the individual who caused the accident). The liable parties aren’t just limited to the business owner; the wait staff or store clerk who sold the alcohol can also be held responsible.

In some cases, the drunk individual who caused the accident can also file a lawsuit against the alcohol business. This is only applicable if the drunk individual suffered injuries in the accident they caused. The drunk individual can file a lawsuit stating that the business, the store clerk, or the wait staff over-served alcohol to them.

Proving Third-Party Liability

Just like in every other case, the plaintiff has to prove that the actions of the alcohol business were what led to the inebriated state in which the defendant caused the accident. To do this, the plaintiff has to provide evidence that the establishment sold alcohol to the defendant, who was already visibly intoxicated. Additionally, it’s also the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove that the establishment’s alcohol sale was the reason for the defendant’s inebriated condition.

Although there are individuals who are against the DramShopLaw, the supporters have a firm and sensible counterpoint. The supporters state that there is evidence that the law has reduced alcohol-related accidents. Also, the law has increased public awareness of the consequences of overserving alcohol and led to a drop in illegal, unrestricted alcohol consumption.

Businesses should do their part in countering individuals who drink beyond their limit. They should train employees on the warning signs that someone is already drunk, like bloodshot eyes, loss of balance/coordination, slow/slurred speech, and exhibiting unpleasant, overly emotional, or aggressive behavior.

Drinking isn’t inherently bad, but individuals who don’t practice responsible drinking are a threat to everyone on the road. They are responsible for causing serious, life-changing injuries, emotional scars, and property damage.

In such situations, it is vital to take the legal route against the responsible parties. The compensation will contribute to the recovery of the victim(s) and will send a strong message that irresponsible driving/drinking habits will not be tolerated.

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