A dram shop accident lawyer in Florida can help you determine if a bar is liable for an accident. Car accidents caused by alcohol are common in Florida. While a drunk driver causes most cases, there are some instances where a nearby pub or bar can be liable, particularly if they over-serve an already drunk client.
The dram shop law allows an accident victim to pursue damages from a nearby pub that may be partially liable. But there are many steps to consider before filing a dram shop law claim, so talking to an experienced Fasig | Brooks Attorney may be necessary.
A Florida Dram Shop Accident Lawyers Explains
Drunk drivers are considered liable in most accidents. But there are some circumstances where the bar they were drinking at can be considered negligent and, therefore, partially liable. That is a type of premises liability case known as the dram shop law.
Most bar owners will argue that drivers should be responsible for their drinking, which is true in most cases. But let’s say a customer arrives already drunk at a bar, they look already impaired to drive, and then they ask for more drinks. A reasonable bar owner should refuse to keep serving them; otherwise, they can be partially liable for any car accident.
How Can a Bar Owner Be Liable Under the Dram Shop Law?
Alcohol and weed are involved in half of young driver deaths and most car accidents. But there are many ways other parties can be liable for those incidents. These are some of the situations that led to a dram shop lawsuit:
- The patron was already intoxicated. If a customer arrives at a bar already drunk, the bar shouldn’t serve them more alcohol.
- Underage drivers. Selling alcohol to a minor can be considered a dram shop case and a crime under Florida state law.
- Serving after closing hours. Pubs and bars should not sell alcohol to anyone after business hours. Otherwise, they can be liable for accidents.
- Excessive serving. Serving too much alcohol to the same customer can expose them to accidents on the road.
Your dram shop accident attorney can examine your case to determine if you can pursue damages from a bar owner.
A Florida Dram Shop Accident Attorney May Be Necessary to File a Claim
Anyone can file a drunk driving accident claim. However, an experienced car accident lawyer may be necessary to pursue damages from a bar owner’s insurance. Still, there are many other reasons to hire an attorney immediately after being involved in any car accident.
- Investigate the accident. Dram shop cases can be particularly hard to handle because it is necessary to demonstrate several factors. Still, an experienced attorney can conduct a private investigation, interview witnesses and collect evidence. Then we can help you determine how a bar owner is partially liable for your accident and injuries.
- Determining liability. Determining liability is one of the main aspects of a dram shop case since that is the only way to prove the actions of a negligent establishment are the reason for your injuries. Your attorney can also help you determine if there are more potentially liable parties, such as other drivers, pedestrians, or bikers.
- Calculate your damages. It is necessary to determine how much your damages are worth to claim compensation. But calculating your damages can be particularly challenging for someone with injuries. However, your attorney can help you calculate and fight for an appropriate amount.
- Filing an insurance or civil claim. Negotiating an off-court agreement with a bar owner can be complicated in a dram shop case, but your lawyer can handle the liable parties and their insurance. At the same time, you can spend time recovering from your injuries. And if a financial agreement is unreachable, we can also protect your rights in court.
Damages a Dram Shop Lawyer in Florida Can Recover
Dram shop laws are important because drunk driving accidents can be devastating for the victims. According to the Florida crash board, in 2022, more than 161,000 victims were injured in a motor vehicle accident. And more than 5,000 accidents were caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol.
Victims of these accidents are often entitled to pursue compensatory damages through an insurance claim or civil lawsuit. There are two main types of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are losses and expenses with a fixed monetary value. An experienced attorney can collect all your medical bills, receipts, and checks to determine an appropriate amount. However, the most common economic damages are:
- Damage to property
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Lost wages
- Drug therapy
If you experienced different economic damages, you must talk to your attorney to determine how much you can recover in a claim.
These damages are personal and emotional losses. That means they do not have a fixed dollar value, which can be difficult to calculate. That is the reason why most insurance companies try to ignore them. Non-economic damages often include:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Psychological injuries
- Pain and suffering
Every case is different, so talking to a car accident lawyer may be the best way to determine your economic and non-economic damages.
Statute of Limitations for a Dram Shop Law Case in Florida
One of the most important questions after an accident is how long I have to file a claim. The Florida Statute of limitations is two years for this type of case. That means you should file a claim before the time expires, or you may lose your right to claim damages. However, it is better to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Your attorney can help you negotiate an off-court settlement with the liable parties and their insurance company so you do not have to go to court. It is also important to remember that many circumstances can reduce your time. Consulting an attorney is the best way to know exactly how long before the time expires.
A Florida Dram Shop Accident Lawyer Is Ready to Help
Drunk driving accidents are responsible for thousands of injuries a year in Florida. But when someone else’s negligence causes an accident, victims may be entitled to pursue damages. The dram shop law allows you to determine a bar liability in your case and pursue damages from them if necessary.
However, talking to an experienced dram shop attorney may be necessary to build a strong case. Contact Fasig | Brooks to schedule a free strategic consultation. We can explain the dram shop Law in detail and help you develop a strategy to pursue the damages you deserve from a drunk driver or a liable pub.