Alcohol is still a contributing factor in nearly one third of all auto related fatalities, which is why the State of Illinois has passed very stiff dram shop liability laws to dissuade bartenders and shop owners from selling alcohol to minors and the visibly impaired. The Chicago dram shop liability attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are aggressive in the pursuit of justice from those who have aided in the intoxication of reckless and irresponsible drivers— especially when those actions result in serious injuries or the death of unsuspecting motorists and bystanders. If you’ve been in an accident involving the use of alcohol, the following information about Illinois’s dram shop liability laws will be useful.
What is Dram Shop Liability?
Dram shop liability is the legal liability imposed on anyone who provides alcohol to another person when it is clear that person is intoxicated or not able to consume alcoholic beverages legally. While many states have yet to adopt these laws, Illinois has some of the harshest dram shop liability laws in the country. There are several criteria that must be met in order to consider a claim; which follow below.
- The person or business sold alcohol to the individual responsible for a drunken driving accident.
- The alcohol that was sold to the individual was the clear cause of intoxication and the person selling the beverages knew that the individual was drunk. This includes selling alcohol to someone who is already visibly drunk.
- The victim was injured because of the responsible party’s intoxication.
Where minors are concerned, the law is even stricter; imposing penalties for any injured suffered by the minor as well as whoever is injured in an accident involving him or her. Therefore, if a minor is served or sold alcohol, the store, restaurant or bar that sold the alcohol may be sued by the victim of a drunken driving accident as well as by the family of the minor.
Harsh Penalties Meant to Reduce Drunk Driving
By holding business owners partially responsible for the actions of their drunk patrons, the State of Illinois hopes to drastically reduce the amount of alcohol related fatalities experienced throughout the state and keep minors from drinking before they are legally allowed to do so. This also allows victims another legal avenue to obtain compensation. Many drunk drivers are without insurance, limiting the ability of victims to recover the full value of compensation to which they are entitled. The difference can be made up by filing a claim against the business that helped the drunk driver become intoxicated.
If you have been injured in or lost a loved one due to a drunken driving accident, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help you find the justice and compensation you are entitled to for your emotional, physical and financial losses.
Our Chicago dram shop liability attorneys have many years of experience with similar cases and have helped thousands of families recover damages for the payment of medical bills, the value of lost wages and out of pocket expenses and the value of their pain and suffering. Contact us today to arrange a risk free consultation so that we can let you know more about your legal options and collect the information we need to look into your case. Unless we are able to secure damages on your behalf, you are assured our services won’t cost you a thing.