Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

Dram shop laws provide additional legal protection for victims

Drunk driving remains a major concern in Connecticut, as well as throughout the United States. Every year, hundreds of people end up injured and killed in this state because other people drink before driving.

Thankfully, the law allows you to hold a drunk driver accountable for those actions. A drunk driver may face not only criminal charges but also a civil lawsuit from victims to recover financial losses associated with the crash.

Drunk drivers may not have enough money to compensate you

Unfortunately, many people who are willing to violate laws about driving while impaired may also violate laws about carrying motor vehicle insurance. That could mean there is no insurance policy you can make a claim against after your crash.

They also may not have adequate assets to compensate victims after a crash if the victims bring a personal injury lawsuit. That could leave you with a lot of expenses and no way to recoup those losses. In a case like this, the victim of a drunk driving accident may want to explore the possibility of seeking compensation under dram shop laws in Connecticut.

Dram shop laws hold establishments that serve liquor responsible for over-serving

If you aren't familiar with the term dram shop laws, you may not understand your rights to compensation. These laws effectively require businesses that serve alcohol to not serve anyone visibly intoxicated. They create a potential financial penalty for anyone who overserves alcohol.

Whether the person has been drinking at that establishment or entered already intoxicated, the restaurant or bar in question should not serve him or her alcohol. If they do knowingly provide alcohol to someone who is clearly under the influence, victims of injuries caused by the drunk driver can hold the business responsible for serving that drunk person.

Not only does this provide greater protection for victims of crashes, it helps incentivize businesses to follow the law regarding when they can and cannot serve alcohol to legal adults.

You shouldn't have to absorb the financial consequences of a drunk driver's decisions

People who get behind the wheel impaired endanger everyone they encounter on the road. Similarly, businesses that serve someone already visibly drunk are doing a great disservice to the public. While they may want to make money off of any customer they can, their actions could put other people at great risk in the future.

Dram shop laws provide an alternative source of compensation for those who have suffered personal injuries or lost a loved one to a drunk driver. The business in question likely has more assets then the individual driver. Those assets and business insurance policies can help ensure that your family doesn't pay the price for someone else driving drunk.

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