Victim Sues Bar For Accident Injuries Under NC Dram Shop Laws
According to the Insurance Journal, a former legislator in North Carolina has filed a lawsuit against a local bar and restaurant, 6th & Vine. The lawsuit against the restaurant alleges that 6th & Vine should be held legally responsible for a drunk driving accident that occurred in 2011.
Our Wilmington accident attorneys know that bars and restaurants in North Carolina have been held legally responsible in the past for serving alcohol to people who subsequently get into traffic accidents. In fact, in November of 2012, a Charlotte North Carolina jury returned a $1.7 million verdict against a bar called Eddie's Place, which had served the equivalent of 15 drinks in two hours to a man who caused a serious traffic accident.
Now, whether the former lawmaker in North Carolina will be able to obtain compensation in his case will depend upon what the facts leading up to the accident as well as the rules set forth in the state's dram shop laws.
Dram Shop Laws Impose Responsibility on Bars and Businesses For Serving Alcohol
Under the laws of North Carolina, bars, stores and restaurants can potentially be sued if:
- They negligently sell or provide beer, wine, liquor or other intoxicating or alcohol beverages to someone who is underage or they negligently sell alcohol to someone who is noticeably or visibility intoxicated.
- The beverages sold to the underage or intoxicated person cause impairment.
- The impaired person drives and his negligent drunken driving is a direct proximate cause of injury.
These dram shop laws ensure that a bar or restaurant cannot escape responsibility for serving a drunk patron who then drives home. The dram shop laws also make it easier for victims of drunk driving crashes to obtain full compensation for all of the losses they sustain in the crash.
The Insurance Journal reports that the former North Carolina lawmaker who is suing 6th & Vine is seeking monetary damages of more than $10,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. In many cases, however, accident victims suffer far greater losses than just $10,000 worth of damages.
In the case reported last November in USA Today, for example, the drunk driving accident caused a man and his wife to sustain serious injury. The wife lost more than 40 percent of her blood and both the husband and the wife were in the hospital for more than a month. Both required extensive surgeries. The wife was also pregnant at the time of the accident and she lost the baby.
When serious injuries like this occur, often a drunk driver who caused the accident has insufficient insurance or money to compensate the victims. Dram shop laws ensure that the victims are able to get money from bars and restaurants who share responsibility for causing the accident and who may have more money available to pay damage claims.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact a Wilmington injury lawyer today at 1-800-FLEXNER for your free legal consultation.