Dram shop laws in the state allow victims to hold certain establishments liable for injuries caused by drunk drivers.
Dram shop laws allow those injured in a drunk driving accident to hold the establishment that served alcohol to the driver liable for injuries, property damage and even the death of victims. These laws are used through civil suits, allowing victims to bring a case against the guilty party in exchange for compensation to help cover the costs associated with the accident.
The National Conference of State Legislatures, a group that serves members and staff of state legislatures across the country, recently published a review of dram shop laws. The group noted that there are 30 states throughout the United States that have statutory provisions that allow those injured in an accident to hold a licensed establishment, like a restaurant or bar that serves alcohol, liable for accidents caused by a drunk patron. Connecticut is one such state.
Dram shop liability in Connecticut: The law.
In the state of Connecticut, an establishment that sells liquor to an intoxicated individual who causes an accident that injures another person or property can be liable for up to $250,000. This amount can be distributed either to a single individual or, if more than one is injured, distributed between multiple parties. Generally, this applies to establishments that serve alcohol to an obviously intoxicated individual or to one who is under the age of 21.
The seller must receive notice of the suit within 60 days. However, various extensions are available depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, state law notes that "the time it takes, up to 120 days, to appoint an executor, administrator, conservator or guardian does not count toward this deadline." In the event the accident leads to the death or incapacitation of the injured party, the deadline is extended to 180 days.
Dram shop liability in Connecticut: The importance of legal counsel.
In order to move forward with a dram shop case, the notice must meet certain requirements. This includes the time, date and name of the person who sold the alcohol.
This type of case also provides just one example of the various litigation strategies available for those who are injured in a drunken driving accident. As a result, it is wise for the victims of these accidents to contact an experienced Connecticut Hartford litigation lawyer. This legal professional will review the details of your case and explore all possible avenues of relief, working to better ensure your legal rights and remedies are protected.