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Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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Alcohol is still a contributing factor in nearly one-third of all auto-related fatalities. Because of that, the Illinois State Legislature passed very stringent Illinois dram shop laws to dissuade bartenders and shop owners from selling alcohol to minors and the visibly impaired.

The state maintains control over the bars and taverns regulated by the Illinois Liquor Control Act to ensure the public’s safety and reduce drunk driving accidents.

Individuals harmed by a driver who left a bar intoxicated can seek compensation with the assistance of a Chicago dram shop liability lawyer to cover their damages, including hospitalization costs, medical expenses, time away from work, future lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Chicago Dram Shop Liability Lawyer

An Illinois Dram Shop Injury Attorney Can Help

Each premises liability lawyer  at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is aggressive in pursuing justice involving those who have served alcohol to those already impaired and irresponsible drivers, primarily when an intoxicated person’s actions result in serious injuries or death of unsuspecting motorists and bystanders.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident involving alcoholic beverages, the following information about Illinois’s dram shop liability laws will be helpful. Our Chicago dram shop liability lawyers handle cases throughout Illinois, including Cook County.

Contact a premises liability lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free consultation to discuss your damages if you suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone who served alcohol at a bar or restaurant.

Chicago Dram Shop Liability Lawyers

Illinois Dram Shop Act and Dram Shop Liability

Illinois dram shop liability is the legal responsibility imposed on anyone who provides alcoholic drinks to another person when it is clear that a person is inebriated or cannot consume alcoholic beverages legally.

Business owners are partially responsible for the actions of their drunk patrons under Illinois Dram Shop Laws.

Several criteria must be met to consider a dram shop case under Illinois dram shop laws, such as:

  • The person or business selling alcohol to the individual responsible for a drunk driving accident.
  • The alcohol sold to the individual was the apparent cause of intoxication, and the person who served the alcohol knew that the individual was visibly drunk.
  • The alcohol caused the patron’s intoxication (which could be foreseen by the defendant), which caused injuries to the victims.

The Illinois Dram shop law is even stricter where minors are concerned, imposing penalties for any minor victim’s injuries as well as whoever is injured in an accident caused by them.

Therefore, if a minor is served or sold alcohol, the store, restaurant, or bar may be sued by the victim of drunk drivers as well as by the family of the minor.

Chicago Dram Shop Liability Attorney

Dram Shop Injuries FAQs

Our Chicago, IL, personal injury lawyers know that families want answers on filing a lawsuit against a restaurant or bar to resolve an accident involving alcohol use.

Contact us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free consultation and discuss your driving accident.

What is a Dram Shop Case?

The state legislature has enacted laws to hold bars, taverns, and other businesses serving liquor accountable for selling or serving alcoholic beverages to minors and other people that are already intoxicated. The law holds the establishment liable if the intoxicated individual later causes property damage, injuries, or wrongful death.

Any person injured by an intoxicated individual can file a civil lawsuit against the drunk driver and the establishment that served or sold an alcoholic beverage to the intoxicated patron that later drove while impaired.

For personal injury cases brought after 1998, the dollar amount caps were set at $45,000 for injury and $55,000 for lost companionship. The statute allows for an annual increase and decrease of these caps based on changes in the consumer price index, and they fall under the category of personal injury cases.

What is a Dram Shop State?

Thirty-eight states, including Illinois, have enacted specific premises liability laws, holding businesses liable who sell or serving alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person who later drives drunk and causes a car accident.

The Liquor Control Act ((235 ILCS 5/) [1] extends to party hosts who allow guests with too much alcohol to drive while impaired after leaving the party.

Can I Sue a Bar for Negligence?

If an intoxicated motorist caused an accident and your injuries, you could file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation. Additionally, you might be able to prove the establishment or bartender’s negligence for allowing the drunk driver, who had just left a bar, tavern, pub, or restaurant intoxicated, to get behind the wheel.

A vendor sold or served alcoholic beverages to a drunk individual. The injuries sustained in a drunk driving accident were at least partly the result of the alcoholic beverage sold or consumed by the driver.

However, dram shop claims are complicated and often require an attorney who specializes in drunk driving dram shop cases, which involves proving that the vendor sold alcohol to the drunk individual and can be held liable for injuries caused to accident victims.

Why Is It Called Dram Shop Laws?

English bars and pubs during the eighteenth century sold their alcoholic beverages by the dram (a spoonful). Over two-thirds of all state legislatures [2] and the United States have enacted specific Illinois dram shop liability laws to hold alcohol-licensed establishments legally liable for knowingly serving alcoholic liquor illegally.

The legislation extends responsibility to the bar serving alcohol to an intoxicated person drunk driving away from the bar.

The Illinois Judiciary has issued Civil Jury Instructions outlining how establishments can be held liable for the actions of drunk individuals.

Are Bartenders Responsible for A Drunk Drivers?

Thirty-eight states, including Illinois, have enacted liability laws to hold bartenders, bars, taverns, and pubs legally accountable if intoxicated patrons drive away and kill someone in a vehicle accident.


Chicago Dram Shop Liability Attorneys

Hiring a Chicago Dram Shop Liability Lawyer

Were you injured or lost a loved one due to a drunken-driving vehicle accident?

Our Chicago liquor store liability attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, have years of experience with similar dram shop cases. They have helped thousands of families recover damages for the payment of medical bills, the value of lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses, as well as the value of their pain and suffering.

Contact our personal injury lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.

We accept all dram shop cases on a contingency fee basis. Our “No-Win/No Fee Guarantee” ensures you will owe us nothing if we cannot successfully resolve your dram shop case.

Our Chicago, IL, liability attorneys represent clients in various practice areas, including car accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, premises liability, harmful drugs, and wrongful death.

Chicago Dram Shop Liability Law Firm

Resources: [1] ILGA, [2] ILGA

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