Dram shop laws help victims after a drunk driving crash

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2018 | Blog

Drunk driving continues to be a serious issue in Massachusetts and across the United States. Far too many people make the bad decision to get behind the wheel after a few drinks. Adult drunk drivers often face criminal charges and lawsuits if they cause an accident while under the influence. However, many times, these individuals end up convicted and unable to compensate the victims of their bad decisions.

In addition to potential limits to insurance claims, a personal injury lawsuit against a convicted drunk driver often doesn’t yield adequate compensation. Many times these people simply do not have the financial resources to make amends for the damage they cause. Thankfully, Massachusetts law provides an alternative option for those struggling with financial losses caused by a drunk driver.

You should pursue insurance and a personal injury claim

In the wake of a drunk driving crash, you should always file a claim with your insurance carrier to seek coverage for your medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. Sadly, many times the coverage provided simply will not cover all of the losses you experience, particularly in cases that result in severe injuries, such as spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries.

In that situation, seeking compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the intoxicated driver can be a wise next step. In many cases, the courts will order the other driver to compensate you for your losses. Unfortunately, if that person is also in jail or has very few financial resources, your judgment may come to nothing. If the other person can’t repay you, you will still end up facing serious financial hardship.

Establishments that over serve can also be held accountable

Massachusetts law is very clear about when it is legal to serve alcohol. Any business that serves alcohol to a minor or to someone already intoxicated violates state law. Not only could the business face penalties, including loss of their liquor license, they also open themselves up to financial repercussions from any victims of accidents caused by the people they overserved.

These kinds of laws are called dram shop laws, and they help protect the public from the impact of businesses prioritizing profit over the law. Basically, the state allows people to sue any business that provides alcohol to someone intoxicated who later causes an accident. The business, by breaking state law, created a situation that resulted in serious injury or even death.

Victims of drunk drivers can often connect with the compensation they so desperately need by bringing a dram shop lawsuit against a business that served alcohol to the person who caused the crash. These businesses typically have adequate assets to ensure appropriate compensation.


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