Filing Dram Shop Claims After Drunk Drivers Cause Accidents

Do bar owners or bartenders hold any level of responsibility when someone gets excessively intoxicated at a drinking establishment and then causes a vehicle accident? That depends on regulations in each state known by the somewhat archaic term “dram shop laws.” A free consultation with an injury lawyer will shed more light on dram shop claims after someone has been seriously hurt in this type of situation.

Insurance Claims vs. Dram Shop Claims
If the drunk driver had automotive insurance, the liability coverage should pay for property damage to the injured person’s vehicle as well as for injury expenses. If the driver was uninsured, the injured driver’s own auto insurance will pay if the policy includes uninsured motorist protection. If these conditions don’t apply or the injured individual believes he or she deserves more money than the insurer will provide, he or she has the option of filing a lawsuit against the bar.

About Dram Shop Laws
Some centuries ago in England, the establishments now thought of as taverns, pubs and bars were known as dram shops. A dram consisted of a small amount of alcohol, such as a spoonful. In the 21st Century, U.S. state laws still use this terminology.
When someone is hurt by a drunk driver and wants to sue the bar, the case is considered a third-party case. First-party cases involve a person who gets drunk at a bar, gets into an accident and then wants to sue the bar owner. Some states don’t allow these lawsuits, and they are difficult to win. Judges and juries tend to place responsibility on the individual who chose to drink too much instead of the bar that allowed it.
Third-party cases are different. They involve someone being hurt by someone else who was served too much alcohol at a business that serves alcohol. That person was injured through no fault of his or her own.

Contacting a Lawyer
At a website such as, a person can read more about these types of lawsuits and watch an informational video about the firm. Injury lawyers typically offer free consultations so potential clients can learn whether they have a good case and how to proceed.

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