Can a Bar be Liable in a DUI Crash?
Our personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green handle many different types of personal injury cases, though most arise from car crashes. Among the most complicated types of auto accidents, in terms of determining liability of the server/provider of alcohol, is a DUI-related collision, caused by the inebriation of the at-fault driver.
In representing our clients, individuals who have sustained injuries due to the negligence or wrongdoing of others, we seek to obtain compensation to cover their damages. Our clients deserve to have their medical bills, car repair bills, etc., covered by the negligent party who caused the accident; they also deserve to be compensated for their non-tangible damages, i.e. for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.
This all seems fairly straightforward. However, there can be a significant gray area when it comes to determining who is liable for damages incurred in a DUI car crash. It isn’t always just the individual who was driving while drunk that can be held responsible for the injuries and other costs incurred by a victim of the accident.
As our personal injury lawyers know, according to Florida State Statute 768.125, there are certain circumstances under which a bar, restaurant, etc., could be held accountable for damages “caused by or resulting from the intoxication” of an individual. While the law generally holds that a person or establishment who furnishes alcohol to someone of lawful drinking age cannot be liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from that person’s intoxication, there are two exceptions to the rule.
- The first has to do with age; if someone “willfully” sells or furnishes alcoholic beverages to a person who is not of lawful drinking age (under the age of 21), they can be held liable for damages/injuries resulting from – for example – a DUI crash caused by the underage individual served the alcohol.
- The second exception has to do with the issue of addiction/alcoholism. If a person or establishment knowingly serves a person “habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages,” they may become liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such a person, including, for example, a DUI car crash.
So, can a bar be held liable for injuries caused by a DUI car crash? The short answer is “yes,” a bar theoretically can be held liable for the injuries and/or damages, assuming either or both of the above criteria are met (and proven). This is significant in that it expands the potential list of defendants in a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, many drivers hold insufficient auto insurance – or none at all – and that makes obtaining compensation to cover damages incredibly difficult, no matter how strong a case there may be. But if a bar is determined to also be liable in the accident, by way of having illegally/improperly supplied the drunk driver with alcohol, we can then go after the responsible bar in search of compensation to cover the costs arising from injuries and other damages.
If you have any questions about this or any other personal injury questions, please contact our attorneys at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green by calling 561-266-9191 or by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to assisting you.