When someone is injured because of a drunk driver, it can be a difficult situation to endure. Not only are you dealing with the injuries you sustained and the expenses you may have piling up, you also have to focus on what you can do to take legal action. Who is considered liable? Who is responsible for the compensation? In a crash involving a drunk driver, the answer may seem simple. The driver who caused the injury should be held liable. Did you know, however, that there may be another party that you may name in a lawsuit involving a drunk driving collision?
Under Florida Statute 768.125, there are special circumstances that would allow you to file a lawsuit against the bar or establishment that served the driver alcohol. This is called dram shop liability. The statute details exactly what cases allow injured victims to seek compensation. At Givens Givens Sparks, our Tampa drunk driving accident lawyers are determined to help clients understand their rights and options if they’ve been harmed by someone else’s negligence. We break down three of the most important components you should know regarding Florida’s dram shop laws and when they are used.
1. Serving a Person of Legal Drinking Age
When an establishment serves someone of legal drinking age, and that person negligently injures someone else as a result of drunk driving, the establishment or person who furnished or sold the alcohol is not responsible for the accident. This means that if the driver is over the age of 21 and causes a drunk driving crash in Florida, they are solely responsible for their actions.
2. Serving a Minor Alcohol
Any time a driver under the legal drinking age is sold or furnished alcohol by an establishment or person, and that driver causes a crash resulting in injuries or damages, the establishment or person who provided the alcohol can be held responsible as well. For instance, if a minor is at a party where beer is being served and decides to drive, the person who furnished the alcohol for the party can be held liable for any injuries or damages caused.
3. Serving a Habitual Alcoholic
If an establishment or other party knowingly furnishes alcohol to someone who is a habitual alcoholic, and the person drives and causes injury, the establishment or other party can be considered responsible for the injuries. In other words, perhaps this person has had a drunk driving charge before or the bar recognizes him as someone who is constantly intoxicated when he or she comes in. If they serve this driver alcohol, they may be liable for any actions that occur after the fact.
It is important to know that Florida Statutes 768.125 does not detail liability involved when a bar or person serves alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated. Many states do establish this type of liability within their statutes. This is why it’s important to understand what statutes apply to your situation and what can be done to take legal action in matters of a drunk driving collision.
At Givens Givens Sparks, our Tampa drunk driving accident attorneys take the time to gather the necessary information regarding your case and build a strong strategy for you. We know how difficult it can be to sustain an injury as the result of someone else’s negligence. Because of this, we make sure to provide you with your rights and options, protecting you throughout the entire process so you can move forward without the concerns of a legal battle. Call our firm today and learn how we can help you take action.