The parties in a dram shop liability case have reached an agreement including a settlement of $2.05 million, to be shared between the two motorists who were injured when they were rear-ended by a drunk driver, according to the New Jersey Law Journal.
When a person is injured by a drunk driver in New Jersey, one option they have is to seek compensation from the driver who caused the accident. Another option in many cases is to seek compensation from the venue that served alcohol to the drunk driver. A case that involves the bar, tavern, or event that served the alcohol is known as a “dram shop” case—a holdover from colonial times, in which bars were known as “dram shops” because they served liquor according to a unit of measure called the dram.
Under New Jersey law, an injured person can bring a claim against the vendor who served alcohol to the intoxicated person who caused the accident if:
- The vendor served alcohol although the person was “visibly intoxicated” when served, or
- The vendor knew or reasonably should have known that the person was younger than 21 years of age.
In these cases, both the intoxicated driver who caused the accident and the place that served alcohol to the intoxicated person may face liability. The intoxicated person cannot sue the vendor, however, even if he or she was also injured in the accident.
Dram shop liability and social host liability in New Jersey can be complex. Generally, dram shop laws establish the liability of establishments who sold alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons or minors who later cause death or injury to third parties (those not having a relationship to the bar) as a result of alcohol-related car crashes and other accidents. A seasoned personal injury attorney can help ensure that negligent bars, taverns, and social hosts are held accountable when their actions directly contributed to serious injuries. If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer from Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza, PC who can help.