It is not uncommon to see impaired drivers on Colorado roads. If one struck you, the state allows you to seek compensation for your losses. Did you know that, aside from filing a personal injury claim against the drunk driver, you may also file a lawsuit against the business that served him or her as well?
While not all drunk drivers are on the road after leaving a bar or restaurant where they were over-served or served even though they are minors, it does happen. When it does, dram shop laws allow victims to hold such establishments responsible. How does this work?
Dram shop laws
Dram shop laws vary by state. Certain elements must exist in your case in order for this law to apply. In Colorado, a business may be held accountable for any losses you experienced in a drunk driving accident if:
- There is proof that the drunk driver was visibly intoxicated when an establishment served him or her alcohol.
- There is proof that a minor was served alcohol at an establishment.
That is it. In other states, several other elements must exist in order for dram shop laws to apply. It is much easier to apply this law to cases in Colorado.
Why pursue a dram shop claim?
Wondering why you should think about filing a dram shop claim if it is applicable in your case? The answer is easy: compensation. While a successfully navigated personal injury claim can result in the awarding of compensation, a successfully managed dram shop claim on top of that can result in you receiving even more relief. That can make the extra time and effort pursuing this type of claim worth it in the end.
Limits to compensation
As previously stated, every state has different dram shop laws. In Colorado, there is a limit to how much compensation you can achieve with this type of claim. The cap is still usually a decent amount of money, which may make it worth seeking.
If you suffered injuries in an accident with a drunk driver and are not sure if you can seek compensation for your losses, legal counsel can review your case and help you decide the best way to proceed. Even if dram shop laws do not apply in your case or there is insufficient evidence to prove a dram shop claim, you may be able to achieve a fair compensation amount by filing a personal injury claim against the person responsible for your losses.