Understanding Dram Shop/Host Liability in Georgia
In the state of Georgia, when people are injured or killed in vehicle accidents involving alcohol, victims or their families sometimes have the option of filing lawsuits against the establishment or person who supplied alcohol to the intoxicated driver. These lawsuits are known as “dram shop” lawsuits, and are specifically a product of statute.
In certain situations, alcohol might have been negligently or unlawfully sold or served to a person who is then involved in a fatal or serious injury-causing vehicle accident. If this person was served at a bar, club, restaurant, some other commercial establishment, or even a private residence, the seller and/or furnisher of the alcohol to the at-fault driver can be a potential defendant in a related lawsuit, provided that the elements of the Georgia Dram Shop Statute are met. Specifically under the law, a Plaintiff seriously injured or the family of a person killed by a drunk driver can make a claim under the theory of dram shop law if a person and/or company:
1) willfully, knowingly, and unlawfully sells, furnishes, or serves alcoholic beverages to a person who is not of lawful drinking age, knowing that such person will soon be driving a motor vehicle; or
2) knowingly sells, furnishes, or serves alcoholic beverages to a person who is in a state of noticeable intoxication, knowing that such person will soon be driving a motor vehicle
These cases are not always straightforward, because proving that the provider of alcohol actually knew that the defendant would be driving can be quite difficult.
However, it is important to talk to a personal injury attorney about the possibility of a dram shop lawsuit if you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in an accident caused by a drunk driver. Our firm leaves no stone uncovered when searching for avenues of recovery for our clients. Dram shop cases can be important to those seriously injured by drunk drivers, especially if the driver's insurance coverage is inadequate to compensate the victim for his or her injuries.
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If you have been injured by any type of accident caused by a drunk driver, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law has been representing those who suffer serious injuries for over 37 years.
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