Holding A Business Liable For Serving Drunk Patrons

Holding A Business Liable For Serving Drunk Patrons

If a business serves alcohol, it has a responsibility to the public. We have all heard the term “bar hopping,” and if an individual comes into a business while intoxicated, or who appears almost drunk, they are liable for injuries suffered by anyone who is hurt by the drunken customer. 

This is especially true in Washington where the is a dram shop statute. The law indicates that a business that sells alcoholic drinks or a host who serves alcohol to someone who is already affected by alcohol can be punished by statutory violations of a fine up to $500 plus separate civil action by the injured persons and/or their families. 

Such laws are in place to keep those who are already intoxicated from drinking too much and being killed or injured from being over-intoxicated. The main goal of the law, however, is to keep bartenders and hosts from providing a drunk person too much alcohol and then allowing them to drive away and injure or kill innocent parties. 

The law requires that establishments in the area properly train bartenders and servers to assess whether an individual has had more than enough to drink, so they will stop serving them and prevent such tragic accidents from happening. 

Holding The Business Liable For Damages 

If a drunk driver has injured you or a loved one, you do have the right to pursue legal action against the business – such as a bar or restaurant – for endangering the public by letting the inebriated customer leave their business then drive away. You might be able to recover compensation from that business, whether it is a liquor store, bar, pub, or restaurant. 

Any business that serves alcohol can be held accountable by accident victims if their employees knowingly overserve an obviously intoxicated customer or underage patron. However, for your personal injury claim to be successful, you must prove that the business in question knew that the customer was either underage or already intoxicated. 

Enlisting The Help Of A Personal Injury Lawyer in the Portland/Vancouver Metro Area 

A personal injury lawyer will be able to investigate the accident and find out what happened leading up to the crash. By tracking down the drunk driver’s steps and by determining where he or she was served, a Portland OR Area / Vancouver Metro Area personal injury attorney can determine who is liable for the damages that the innocent victim suffered. 

Such accidents can lead to long-term disabilities, the loss of income, thousands of dollars in medical expenses, the need for future medical care, mental trauma, and permanent scarring and disfigurement. An accident injury lawyer will review the details of your case and determine which damages you suffered and who should be held liable for your losses. To get a free case review, call Harlan Law Firm at (360) 735-8200 today.