In the past, I’ve had clients who called following involvement in an accident with a drunk driver who had been drinking in a local bar or restaurant. They often ask, “Can we make a claim that reaches beyond just that driver? Is the bar responsible for that driver’s activities?”
In New York State, this would be called a Dram Shop Action. Essentially, a bar owner can be held liable and considered negligent if it can be shown that somebody on their premises was served alcohol while visibly intoxicated, so the answer to that accident victim’s question is yes – but an investigation is required. Early in that lawsuit, your attorney will want to conduct a deposition to learn who that driver was with. Had he been there before? Is he a regular? Who was serving him? How long had he been there? Other relevant, albeit complicating, factors may arise if that establishment was merely one of the stops along the way and the offending driver had also visited other bars.
Were you or a loved one involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver? Contact experienced Buffalo Injury Lawyer Richard Nicotra to fight for you.