Dram shop laws come into play when someone is injured by a person who is under the influence of alcohol. In some cases, the individual or business that served the person alcohol could be held liable for the damages that he caused while under the influence. If you have been injured by someone who was under the influence of alcohol, it's important to understand how California's dram shop laws could affect your personal injury case.
Dram Shop Laws in California
Businesses that serve alcohol to someone who later injures another person are not held liable in most personal injury cases in California. That's because the dram shop laws only hold these parties accountable when the at-fault individual is a minor who was obviously intoxicated when he or she was served alcohol.
For example, let's say an intoxicated 17-year-old crashes into your car. You may be able to hold both the intoxicated driver and the bar that served her alcohol liable in a personal injury lawsuit if it can be proven that the bar should have stopped serving the minor alcohol because she was obviously intoxicated. However, if the driver was 45 years old instead of 17 years old, the bar cannot be held liable.
Social Host Liability
What if the intoxicated person was served alcohol at a private residence instead of a bar or restaurant? The social host, or the person who served the individual alcohol at a private residence, cannot be held liable in most cases. But, there is one exception to this rule. A social host who knowingly serves a minor alcohol can be held liable for any injuries the minor causes as a result of his or her intoxication.
Consider the example above one more time. If a friend's parent served the 17-year-old alcohol prior to the accident, the parent can be held liable since she should have known the driver was a minor. It doesn't matter whether the minor was obviously intoxicated or not-all that matters is that the social host knew or should have known that he or she was serving alcohol to a minor.
Have you been injured by an intoxicated individual? If so, contact personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law today. James Rush will aggressively seek compensation from all of parties that are liable for your injuries. Contact our office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.