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Can I Sue Bar Owners for DUI Injuries in California?

If you were injured by a drunk driver, you might be pointing your finger at all kinds of different people. The drunk driver might be the most obvious culprit, but there might be a range of other people responsible. What about the police officers who failed to apprehend the drunk driver before they crashed into you? What about the bar, pub, or nightclub that served the drunk driver with copious amounts of alcohol, knowing that they were about to get behind the wheel? Is it possible to sue one of these establishments for injuries?

In order to receive a clear answer, you’ll need to get in touch with a qualified, experienced attorney. But we know what you’re thinking: “Where can I find attorneys near me?” The answer is clear: All you need to do is book a consultation, discuss your unique situation with a California accident lawyer, and begin working towards a fair, adequate settlement. With help from one of these legal professionals, you can strive for the best possible outcome in a highly confident manner.

California’s Dram Shop Laws

Unfortunately, California’s dram shop laws make it quite difficult to sue third parties for DUI accidents (1). Essentially, the state takes the opinion that it is the consumption of alcohol that is the primary cause of DUI accidents, and so this consumption is the sole source of negligence. This is in contrast to many other states, which allow plaintiffs to hold bars and similar establishments accountable for “overserving” patrons before they get behind the wheel.

Exceptions to the Rule

With that being said, there is one notable exception to this rule:

If a bar sells alcohol to underage drinkers who then injure plaintiffs in DUI accidents, the injured parties may be able to hold the establishment accountable (2). It is also worth mentioning that the underage drinker themselves can also sue the establishment for their injuries. This is basically because the bar was breaking a law when they sold the alcohol, which is why they can be considered negligent. It is even easier to hold these stores liable if they sell to a minor who was “obviously intoxicated” at the time.

Why Would You Want to Sue a Third-Party?

In most situations, you should be able to recover more than enough compensation without suing any third parties, such as bars or pubs. But in other situations, the driver may be unable to provide you with much compensation. This might be because they were uninsured at the time, or because their insurance policy simply doesn’t provide adequate coverage. This is when most plaintiffs begin to consider suing third parties.

Where Can I Find Attorneys Near Me?

If you’ve been searching Riverside for California DUI lawyers, there are many legal professionals nearby who can assist you. With their help, you can hold negligent parties accountable and receive a considerable financial settlement for everything you’ve been forced to endure. You can use your settlement to pay for medical expenses, missed wages, and much more. Get in touch today to get started.

Sources

  1. shttps://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=1714.&lawCode=CIV
  2. https://www.abc.ca.gov/education/merchant-education/on-sale-licensee-informational-guide/minors/

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