Dram shop liability refers to the over-serving of alcohol to an intoxicated person. Dram shops refer to social establishments such as nightclubs, restaurants, bars, as well as party hosts. When accidents, injuries or deaths occur as a result of their negligent behavior, dram shop liability claims may be filed to seek compensation for their failings. Here’s how dram shop laws help protect victims and their families.
Dram Shop Liability
In the state of New Jersey, dram shop liability laws have two separate types of liability. First and third-person liability. First-person liability refers to any instance where the injured party was the person who they over-served alcohol to. First-party dram shop liability is generally more difficult to prove; as juries tend to side with the licensed premises or social host, believing they should hold the intoxicated individual accountable for their actions.
Third-Party Dram Shop Liability in New Jersey
Third-party dram shop liability applies to those individuals injured by a person who has overserved alcohol. Under New Jersey law, an injured person may be able to sue the social host (or premises) that over-served the drunk driver. Specifically, New Jersey law states that the individual served the alcohol must have been “visibly intoxicated” at the time they were served, or the social host must have had credible reason to know the individual was under the age of 21. Should either of these statements be true, New Jersey law places some of the responsibility on the dram shop.
New Jersey dram shop legislation exists for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, they created it to provide a legal remedy for those who sustained injuries at the hands of an intoxicated individual. Or in the worst-case scenario, for the loved ones of those killed by a drunk driver. Secondly, dram shop liability serves to hold those who are licensed to sell alcohol, as well as social hosts, to be vigilant and mindful about who they are providing alcoholic beverages to; as well as punishing those who act irresponsibly in this regard.
Holding Dram Shops Accountable for Accidents or Injuries
Because of their liability in New Jersey state law, the success of any dram shop case is in establishing the negligence of the premises or social host that potentially over-served the drunk driver. To help prove a claim against a negligent premise, you should always consult with an experienced and determined New Jersey dram shop liability law attorney.
Speak to an Experienced Dram Shop Liability Attorney
If an over-served drunk driver kills someone you love in an accident, you may be able to claim compensation. Not just from the driver. But also from the bar, tavern, or other premises that provided them more alcohol than they should have. If your family is the victim of dram shop negligence, seek expert legal help right away. Speak with an experienced and compassionate dram shop liability attorney today at the Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A. Our firm provides dram shop law services and are here to assist you in your time of need. Call us at (973) 358-6134 for a free consultation.