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Drunk Driving Accidents: Can the Bar Be Sued?

Drunk driving accidents are some of the most tragic, and unfortunately, common accidents that a person can suffer. After you’ve been struck by a drunk driver, you might be considering a lawsuit against the driver. However, many drunk drivers don’t have auto insurance or resources, which means you might get a limited amount of compensation. The best way to work around this limitation is to see if your state allows for suing a bar involved in your case.

Although many don’t realize it, suing a bar that over-served a patron who then caused an accident is a legal option in most states, giving you a path to increased compensation. Learn your options for suing a bar after you’ve been hit by a drunk driver and be sure to consult an Oklahoma City car accident attorney.

Who is Liable in a Dram Shop Case?

Personal injury cases that involve bars or restaurants are known as dram shop cases. In a dram shop case, an establishment that has continued to serve alcohol to a patron can be held liable if that patron causes a drunk driving accident after leaving the establishment. However, it’s important to understand that not every state allows for dram shop cases, and others limit these cases to drunk driving accidents involving minors.

If you feel that a bar or restaurant shares liability in your drunk driving case, you should consult with an Oklahoma City car accident attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a dram shop suit.

First Party and Third Party: What’s the Difference?

Dram shop cases usually fall into two categories: First party cases and third party cases. The difference in these cases is based around who is filing the lawsuit. First party cases, for instance, are filed by a driver who was served to the point of intoxication and then suffered injury in a single car accident.

If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver and are considering filing a suit against the serving establishment, then this would fall under the category as a third-party case. Third-party cases, like any personal injury lawsuit, require that you be able to definitively prove fault before receiving your just compensation.

Ways to Prove Fault After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver

When you’re seeking to prove fault in your dram shop case, there are two different legal avenues that you could pursue.

First, you could seek to demonstrate recklessness. With recklessness, you would try to show that the server or serving establishment ignored signs that the driver was intoxicated and continued to serve them drinks. Second, you could look to show that there was intent in your case, which could involve proving that alcohol was intentionally served to someone who should not have been drinking, such as a minor or a known alcoholic.

Because intent can be very difficult to prove, showing recklessness will usually be the better option for winning your case.

Hire an Oklahoma City Car Accident Attorney

Drunk driving accidents, particularly those involving an irresponsible bar or restaurant, can be very difficult to try, which is why you need to retain an Oklahoma City car accident attorney from the Parrish DeVaughn Law Firm. When you work with the team at Parrish DeVaughn, you’ll be getting the peace of mind that comes from having an experienced attorney on your side. Learn more about how the attorneys at Parrish DeVaughn can help with your case.