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Chicago Dram Shop Liability Lawyer

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 Dram Shop liability 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.

Any individual harmed by a driver who left a bar intoxicated can seek financial compensation to cover their damages that might include property damage, hospitalization costs, medical expenses, time away from work, future lost earnings, pain-and-suffering.

Chicago Dram Shop Liability Lawyer

An Illinois Dram Shop Injury Attorney Can Help

The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are aggressive in the pursuit of justice involving those who have aided in the intoxication of reckless 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 the use of alcohol, the following information about Illinois’s dram shop liability laws will be helpful. Our accident injury attorneys currently handle dram shop cases throughout Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Aurora, Chicago, Elgin, Naperville, and Wheaton.

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

Chicago Dram Shop Liability Lawyers

Dram Shop Liability

Illinois dram shop liability is the legal liability imposed on anyone who provides alcohol to another person when it is clear that a person is inebriated or cannot consume alcoholic beverages legally. While many states have yet to adopt these laws, Illinois has some of the country’s harshest liability laws.

Several criteria must be met to consider a Dram Shop case, which follows below.

  • The person or business sold 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 selling the beverages knew that the individual was drunk. This violation includes selling alcohol to someone who is already visibly drunk.
  • The victim was injured because of the responsible party’s intoxication.

Dram shop laws are even stricter where minors are concerned, imposing penalties for any minor victim's injuries 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

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

The Illinois Dram Shop laws also allow victims another legal avenue to obtain compensation from the intoxicated individual that caused the crash. Many drunk drivers operate vehicles without insurance.

The lack of the intoxicated person’s insurance coverage limits the victim’s ability to recover the total value of compensation they are entitled to receive. However, financial compensation could be obtained by filing a compensation claim against the business that was plying the intoxicated patron with more drinks.

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 compensation case. A lawyer answered a few questions below.

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 Claim?

The state legislature has enacted liability laws to hold bars, taverns, and other businesses serving liquor accountable for selling or serving alcohol to minors and other apparently intoxicated people. 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 alcohol to the intoxicated patron that later drove while impaired.

What is a Dram Shop State?

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

The Act extends to party hosts who allow intoxicated guests 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, got behind the wheel.

However, the Dram Shop Claims are complicated and often require a competent personal injury attorney who specializes in drunk driving dram shop cases.

Why Is It Called Dram Shop Law?

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

Dram shop laws extend liability to the bar serving alcohol to an intoxicated person drunk driving away from the bar.

Are Bartenders Responsible for Drunk Drivers?

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

Victims injured by a drunk driver who left the bar intoxicated can file a civil lawsuit seeking financial compensation. Typically, the plaintiff can receive financial compensation up to the drunk driver’s insurance coverage liability limits.

Chicago Dram Shop Liability Attorneys

Hiring a Chicago Dram Shop Injury Lawyer

Were you injured, or did you lose a loved one due to a drunken-driving vehicle accident? If so, the accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help you find the justice and compensation you are entitled to for your financial losses, personal injury, loss of society, and property damage.

Our Chicago dram shop liability attorneys have many years of experience with similar dram shop 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 our personal injury lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. We accept all dram shop cases through contingency fee agreements. Our "No-Win/No Fee Guarantee" ensures you will owe us nothing if we cannot successfully resolve your dram shop case.

All discussions with our Chicago, IL law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship. All necessary causes of action must be filed in the appropriate county courthouse before the statute of limitations expires.

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

Chicago Dram Shop Liability Law Firm


Client Reviews
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa