It’s the middle of summer, and you’ve been invited to a party. You’re excited, but there’s one thing on your mind – will you be able to drink alcoholic beverages without worrying about getting behind the wheel? What if the party is at someone’s house and serving alcohol? Can they be held liable for any accidents after guests leave their party drunk?
In a drunk driving accident case, liability for damages often falls primarily on the person driving under the influence. However, under dram shop laws, people who a drunk driver has injured can hold other parties at fault.
Contact the car accident lawyers at The Fran Haasch Law Group today if you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident. We value the attorney-client relationship and are ready to seek justice for you. Our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you are owed.
About Liability in Drunk Driving Accident Claims
In most car accident and motorcycle accident cases, one of the drivers is found liable for resulting damages. But it is not uncommon for third parties to be partially at fault for a collision. Car companies that manufacture defective vehicles, cities that do not maintain their roads, and employers who fail to train their employees properly are all third parties that could be liable for a car accident or motorcycle accident.
In cases of drunk driving accidents, it is sometimes possible to attribute fault to the establishment where the drunk driver was served alcohol. The laws that allow this, known as dram shop laws, have varying terms in different states.
Dram Shop Liability in Drunk Driving Accidents
Dram shop laws establish potential liability for third parties who may be responsible for a drunk driving accident. Primarily, these laws relate to the role of businesses that negligently furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person who eventually drives drunk.
Who is Liable for Drunk Driving Accidents Under Florida’s Dram Shop Laws?
The terms of dram shop laws vary between states. Florida has its own specific conditions for holding a business liable in a drunk driving accident case.
In Florida, a business could be at fault for a drunk driving accident if they serve alcohol to a driver, that is:
- Under the lawful drinking age of 21
- Addicted to alcohol, to the knowledge of the business
It is not a condition of Florida’s dram shop laws that a patron must have been visibly intoxicated for the serving business to be liable for a drunk driving accident. As long as the intoxicated person was either under 21 or had a known alcohol problem and eventually injured another person in a collision, their level of intoxication upon purchase does not matter.
Can I Sue the Party Hosts for Negligence in Florida?
Some states’ dram shop laws include a clause that allows people to sue party hosts for negligence in a drunk driving case. The state of Florida, unfortunately, does not.
Under Florida’s dram shop law, if the drunk driver responsible for your injuries was coming from a private social event, the person who hosted the party or supplied them with alcohol cannot be liable for damages.
The Statute of Limitations for a Dram Shop Claim
DUI victims that want to file a claim against a bar or other establishment must do so within four years of the accident. After this period, the statute expires, and they will be barred from recovery.
Compensation in Dram Shop Claims
A person filing a claim can receive damages for:
- Medical bills include emergency room care, surgery, rehabilitation, medications, and in-home assistive care.
- Lost wages due to injuries caused by the accident.
- Replacement costs for any damaged or destroyed property.
- Pain and suffering related to injuries caused by the accident.
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we are committed to fighting for your fair recovery. We strive to help injured individuals and the loved ones of those wrongfully killed secure the full, fair recovery they are owed. We offer dedicated legal representation for car accident victims and bicycle, rideshare, and semi-truck accident victims.
If you feel you have been the victim of a car accident through no fault of your own. Our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you are owed.To schedule an evaluation with our attorneys, complete our contact form or call (727) 784-8191. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.