Riverside California Drunk Driver Dram Shop Attorney
A number of states have what is known as “dram shop laws” that hold bar owners, restaurants, liquor stores, and people who serve alcohol at a private party liable for accidents caused by drunk drivers. In most cases, however, a third party can only be held liable when there is proof that the person or establishment in question served someone who was visibly drunk prior to him or her causing a drunk driving accident.
California Dram Shop Laws and Drunk Drivers
In the state of California, however, dram shop laws are essentially non-existent. California lawmakers passed legislation abolishing strict liability for restaurants, bars, and other businesses that serve alcohol to adult customers. As a result, people injured in car accidents involving a drunk driver cannot sue the business that served alcohol to the drunk driver in question – even if he or she was obviously intoxicated when he or she was served.
There are, however, two exceptions worth noting here. First, businesses can be held liable in cases involving drunk drivers when the driver in question is underage and was served alcohol by a bar, restaurant, or liquor store. Secondly, if criminal charges are brought against a business in a drunk driving case, it’s possible that the business may be ordered to pay damages to those injured by the drunk driver in question.
Recovering Compensation from Drunk Drivers in California
In general, California lawmakers have weakened dram shop laws because of a general consensus that it is very difficult to prove who actually was the specific cause of a drunk driver’s getting drunk before his or her causing an accident. In other words, California law holds the driver ultimately responsible, not those that serve him or her. As such, what options exist for recovering compensation from a drunk driver?
When the injuries in a drunk driving accident are catastrophic or fatal, there are different options for recovering compensation proportional to an injured person’s medical costs, loss wages, and pain and suffering. First, there is the insurance coverage of the drunk driver and the limits involved in the policy. Second, if the coverage involved is insufficient it may be necessary to seek a recovery of damages under the drunk driver’s umbrella policy or homeowner’s policy.
There is no guarantee that this will be successful but, depending on the specifics involved, it may be possible to recover damages here as well.
Contact Car Accident Attorney Jon Lewis Today
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, contact Riverside car accident lawyer Jon Lewis today to schedule an appointment and learn how we can help you.