When a restaurant or other establishment sells alcohol to an intoxicated customer the restaurant itself may be liable if the customer injures another person because of being intoxicated. This is known as “dram shop” law. Oftentimes, a drunk driver is not the only one responsible for a crash caused by his intoxication. In fact, not only can a drunk driver be held liable for injuries caused in an alcohol-related car crash, but so can the establishment that served alcoholic beverages to the drunk driver who caused the car crash.
Although the majority of dram shop cases involve drunk driving, dram shop liability may also apply in cases involving assaults, bar fights, and other crimes. If a person was over-served at an establishment, left the establishment, and committed a violent crime thereafter, said establishment can be held responsible too.
Under Pennsylvania dram shop law, an injured person or the family of a person killed by an intoxicated person can file a lawsuit against an establishment for over-serving alcohol to a clearly intoxicated person. Another driver, passengers of either the victim’s or drunk driver’s car, the family of the person killed by a drunk driver, and even the drunk driver himself has standing to sue under dram shop laws.
Some common examples include:
These examples make establishments that serve alcohol responsible in alcohol-related incidents that lead to injury. Therefore, establishments that serve alcohol have a duty to prevent such incidents from happening by attacking the issue at its source.
If a victim wants to file a claim against an establishment that serves alcohol, he or she must do so within two years from the day of the event. After that period of time, the statute of limitations expires.
A person filing a dram shop claim can seek compensation for several different reasons. These include:
If you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of an intoxicated individual or the outcome of an establishment over-serving, contact our team of attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. today.
Rachel D. Olszewski, an attorney at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., is a dedicated advocate for clients who have suffered unjust harm. Following the legacy of her esteemed family members, Rachel specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal defense. She is actively involved in professional associations and serves on the board of the Luzerne County Bar Association Charitable Foundation. Rachel is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania state courts and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
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