Have you been injured in an accident in Chester County, Pennsylvania caused by a drunk driver? Review your case with a Chester County personal injury attorney if so. You may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills and other such losses by filing a claim to collect from the negligent motorist’s insurance. Research has shown your chances of recovering appropriate compensation will be greater if you have legal representation.
However, it’s important to understand that the intoxicated driver who directly caused your accident may not be the only party that can be found liable for your injuries. Under Pennsylvania’s dram shop and liquor liability law, bars and other such establishments can potentially be deemed responsible for allowing drunk driving accidents to happen as well.
This is another reason to consult with a lawyer. At Dan Doyle Law Group, a Chester County dram shop accident attorney can determine if you have grounds to seek additional compensation by filing a separate claim with the insurance of a negligent establishment or individual who overserved the driver who later injured you.
Pennsylvania’s dram shop and liquor liability statute establish that bars, restaurants, and other private entities (including the organizers of private events) can be found liable for drunk driving accidents if a drunk driver was served alcohol despite being visibly intoxicated. This law also allows establishments and individuals to be found liable if a minor was negligently served alcohol.
Proving that a bar, restaurant, or another party negligently served alcohol to the driver who later caused your accident is challenging if you lack the necessary training and experience. It is wise to enlist the help of a Chester County dram shop accident law firm if you believe you have grounds to file a claim or lawsuit.
Your attorney may conduct an investigation to ensure two criteria are met when you take legal action:
Proving a bar or other party violated Pennsylvania’s dram shop and liquor liability law is easy if the driver who injured you was under 21 and the negligent establishment served them alcohol anyway. If they were of legal drinking age, your lawyer must show they were visibly intoxicated to such a degree that a reasonable person would know they were drunk.
Signs of visible intoxication include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:
After showing that the driver was visibly intoxicated when they were served, your lawyer must then show causation. For example, this might not be too challenging if the accident occurred shortly after the driver left the bar. On the other hand, there might be a question of causation if, after leaving the bar, the driver went to a friend’s house and consumed much more alcohol, then drove home and caused your accident many hours after they had been at the bar.
None of the above information is meant to suggest it’s impossible to prove a negligent party allowed you to be injured by violating Pennsylvania’s dram shop and liquor liability law. It’s meant to emphasize the importance of coordinating with a Chester County dram shop accident attorney with the expertise and resources to investigate these matters as thoroughly as may be necessary when building a case.