CHECK OUT THE NEW BUCKSBLOGSPOT. HELP FOR BUCKS COUNTY BUSINESSES AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY – BUCKSBLOGSPOT

Injured by a DUI driver: Can I sue the bar that served them?

submitted by Ian Abovitz, Esq., Stark & Stark

In Pennsylvania, bars have a legal duty to stop serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated customers. The law that establishes this duty is the Pennsylvania Dram Shop Act (47 P.S. Sections 4-493(1) and 4-497).

In certain circumstances, the Dram Shop Act can provide a powerful tool for people that are seriously injured by a drunk driver, allowing them to recover monetary damages from a bar that served the driver while visibly intoxicated. This can be particularly useful in situations where the ability to recover damages from the drunk driver is limited due to minimal liability insurance.

In order to prove a dram shop case against a bar, Pennsylvania courts require an injured plaintiff to prove the following two elements: (1) the patron was served alcoholic beverages by a licensee while visibly intoxicated; and (2) this violation of the statute proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries. See, Johnson v. Harris, 615 A.2d 771 (Pa. Super. 1992). 

To prove the first element, the plaintiff must show evidence that the driver was acting in a drunken manner while at the bar, and that they were served alcohol.

Although visible intoxication can be proven through witness testimony, video evidence showing the defendant acting in an intoxicated manner is often far more effective.

The second element requires plaintiff to prove that the drunk driver’s intoxication was the cause of the crash. Oftentimes, evidence of high blood alcohol content (BAC) can help prove this element.

Overall, it is vital to understand that the immediate preservation of evidence such as surveillance video, credit card statements, and witness statements is essential to prove this type of case against a bar.

This is why you must speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as quickly as possible if you are injured by a DUI driver.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x