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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Holding Bars Responsible for Alcohol-Related Deaths

Q: What are Dram Shop laws?

The headlines are full of stories of auto accidents caused by drunk drivers. Often, the victims in these cases are left dead or seriously injured. Is anyone responsible—besides the drunk driver? 

Personal injury lawsuits arise when a person or entity-- through their negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inactions-- cause injury to somebody else. If liability can be established, the victim may be entitled to compensatory damages for their pain and suffering or their closest surviving relatives may recover damages if the victim doesn’t survive. 

Damages differ on a case-by-case basis but may include the victim’s current and future medical expenses, current and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and more, in personal injury cases. In wrongful death suits, relatives often recover the victim’s final medical and funeral expenses, plus financial and other losses, depending on the relationship to the victim and other factors.

While state laws differ, dram shop laws extend liability for a victim’s personal injuries or death to the bar or tavern that served alcohol to the person who left the establishment drunk and caused the victim’s injuries. So, the bar or tavern owners can be held responsible where they served excessive alcohol to patrons and the drunken patron injuries or kill someone after leaving the premises. While this is commonly seen in drunk driving accidents, intoxicated people can cause injury and harm in other ways. 

An estranged husband with a blood alcohol level reportedly in excess of four times the legal limit, left an establishment and allegedly crashed a “football watching party” at his estranged wife’s house. According to authorities, he opened fire and killed his wife and seven other victims before he was killed by police. The bartender who served him was arrested recently for alleged state beverage code violations that prohibited serving a “habitual drunkard or an intoxicated or insane person.” It was not indicated whether the families of the deceased are pursuing wrongful death lawsuits against the tavern or bartender. 

Bronx personal injury attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured, or a loved one has been killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver, a Bronx personal injury attorney can help maximize the compensation that you may be entitled to. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. 

From our offices in the Bronx, New York, we represent injured people and their families throughout New York City, and New York State, including those injured while visiting New York.


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