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Pursuing a Drunk Driving Accident Claim Under Illinois Dram Shop Law

 Posted on March 20, 2024 in Uncategorized

Will County Car Crash LawyerIf you are injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, that driver can be held liable for the losses your injuries cause you. What you might not realize is that you may also be able to pursue legal action against the entity where that driver obtained the alcohol consumed that resulted in his or her inebriated state. This can be done under Illinois dram shop law. An Illinois personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case and determine if this is a legal option for you.

What Is the Dram Shop Law?

Dram shop is a term that is used to refer to an establishment where alcohol is sold and served, such as liquor stores, bars, pubs, and restaurants. A “dram” was a Scottish unit of measurement for alcohol. A “dram shop” was an establishment that sold alcoholic beverages by the dram.

Today, the term dram shop is usually used in a legal context, associated with laws and regulations that govern the liability of these establishments for damages caused by patrons who were served alcohol, even though they were visibly intoxicated. Under Illinois dram shop law, establishments have a duty to exercise reasonable care when serving alcohol. They can be held liable if they overserve a customer who subsequently causes harm to themselves and others because of their intoxication.  

Proving a Dram Shop Claim

To be successful in obtaining damages from an establishment that overserved a patron that ended up crashing and injuring innocent motorists, there are several key elements that an attorney must establish:

  1. The establishment served alcohol to the intoxicated driver while he or she was obviously intoxicated. An attorney can use evidence that includes eyewitness statements and surveillance footage to prove this element.

  2. The establishment overserving the driver caused the crash and injuries. Establishing a direct link between the establishment’s actions and the harm suffered by the crash survivor is essential. Evidence can include police reports, medical records, and the testimony of accident and other experts to support the claim.

  3. Illinois law requires establishments that serve alcohol to exercise reasonable care in preventing harm to third parties by monitoring patrons’ alcohol consumption, recognizing signs of intoxication, and taking the appropriate actions to prevent the patron from driving. If the establishment fails this duty, it may be liable for damages from the crash.

Contact a Will County, IL Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Case Evaluation

While any car accident claim can be complicated, navigating a dram shop claim can be especially complex. To ensure your claim is successful, it is vital to have a skilled and experienced Joliet, IL drunk driving attorney representing you. Call Rathbun, Cservenyak & Kozol LLC at 815-730-1977 today to schedule a free consultation and find out what legal recourse you may have against those responsible for your injuries and losses.

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