Dram Shop

Dram Shop Attorney

Stracci Law Group helps Northwest Indiana’s bars and restaurants oversee all their liquor liability and bartender liability needs, expertly navigating our state’s dram shop laws and protecting your business. 

If you’ve been injured because a restaurant or bar overserved alcohol to an intoxicated person who caused you harm, Stracci Law Group is your ultimate resource for obtaining justice and taking your case to the courts. We handle many kinds of dram shop law cases, and we know what it takes to achieve justice whether the person who caused harm was overserved alcohol in a bar or at a private event. 

With years of experience in the local courts and handling cases like yours, we’re confident we can get you the compensation you deserve.

What is Dram Shop Law

Dram shop law refers to the legislation governing the liability of liquor stores, taverns, and other establishments that serve alcohol. 

This kind of law is designed to hold a business liable if they sell alcohol to intoxicated people who cause injury, death, or property damage. It also relates to establishments that illegally and irresponsibly serve alcohol to minors.

Wondering, “what is the dram shop act”?

Well, in Indiana, this legislation allows an individual who is injured in an accident caused by somebody irresponsibly served alcohol by an establishment to file a lawsuit against that establishment. 

The best way to avoid dram shop law cases like this is to equip your establishment with an experienced and knowledgeable dram shop lawyer.  

Types of Dram Shop Cases

Dram shop law cases can be directed in different ways. There are two kinds of dram shop cases in terms of “third-party” and “first-party” cases, but they also vary depending on who is being held liable. Let’s take a look at the types of dram shop cases that you should be aware of. 

  1. Establishment Liability Cases
    An establishment liability case refers to a restaurant, liquor store, or bar establishment serving alcohol to an intoxicated party. Instead of denying service to someone who already appears visibly and noticeably drunk, the establishment continues to serve alcohol to that person, only for that individual to go on to crash their car, injury somebody, or cause property damage.
    In this kind of lawsuit, the establishment that served the alcohol may be held liable for the damage or harm.
  2. Social Host Liability Cases
    In this kind of case, somebody who serves alcohol to a friend at a private event or party may be held responsible if the individual goes on to cause harm or destruction of property.
    A good example of a case like this is a friend continuing to give alcohol to a friend who is already visibly drunk, stumbling, or struggling to remain conscious. If that person goes on to drive their car home while intoxicated and causes an accident in the process, the person who served the alcohol may be liable.
  3. First-Party Cases
    A first-party case refers to a case filed by the plaintiff who was served the alcohol. These cases are not too common and are very difficult to win, as juries will typically expect an individual to be held responsible for their own actions, including their decision to continue drinking excessively.
    However, if filed by a minor, a first-party dram case may successfully result in an establishment or individual being sued for serving alcohol to somebody who went on to hurt themselves or others.
  4. Third-Party Cases
    The more common scenario you’ll see is a third-party dram shop case, whereby somebody who was hurt or impacted by a drunk person’s behavior can file a lawsuit against the individual or establishment who served the alcohol.
    This kind of lawsuit is easier to win but requires proof that the establishment or individual willingly served alcohol to somebody they already knew was drunk.

Common Dram Shop Injuries

There are two common kinds of dram shop injuries – though any injury caused as a result of an individual being overserved alcohol may be pursued in the courts.

  • Drink Driving Injuries
    Injuries caused by an intoxicated person driving are commonly pursued by lawsuits. They can be minor or extremely serious, and in the worst cases, may even result in death.
  • Injuries from Violence
    Injuries caused by violence may be a result of an intoxicated person violently attacking somebody in or outside of a bar or other establishment, but these injuries may also affect innocent bystanders when a fight gets out of control.

As we’ve already noted, any injury caused by somebody who was overserved alcohol may be pursued in court.

Dram Shop Laws in Indiana

Dram shop laws vary by state, and there are some key differences in Indiana that you should be aware of. As with all other states, dram shop laws in Indiana are designed to provide legal relief for victims of alcohol-related incidents. 

Under Indiana dram shop law, any person that “furnishes” alcohol to somebody already intoxicated – meaning they sold, served, or gave the alcohol to that person – may be responsible if that person harms somebody else. However, in order to be held liable, the following two conditions must be met:

  1. The person who provided the alcohol must have known that the individual was already intoxicated when they served it.
  2. The intoxication of the individual in question must have been a foreseeable cause of the accident, crime, or injury. 

Indiana law doesn’t distinguish between social hosts who provide alcohol for free and vendors who sell alcohol, meaning civil liability for injuries may be extended to anybody who provides alcohol in a public or private place.

Indiana’s statute of limitations means that any lawsuit must be filed within two years of the injury occurring.

How Our Skilled Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help in a Dram Shop Case in Indiana

Stracci Law Group should be your first port of call in any Indiana dram shop law case. If you’re pursuing justice after experiencing an injury or loss of life in a drink driving accident, our team of legal experts has the expertise to solve your case. 

By combining the talents of our excellent team of lawyers and building from our experience of successfully representing thousands of clients, we’ll examine your case and determine the best step forward for you to obtain justice.

We’ll find exactly who is responsible and aggressively pursue justice on your behalf.

Why Choose Dram Shop Lawyers from Stracci Law Group

 Here’s why people across Indiana trust Stracci Law Group with their dram shop cases.

  • Building On Decades of Experience
    With almost 85 years of combined experience and thousands of happy clients under our belt, we know what it takes to finish the job and get justice.
  • Our Team Collaborates and Shares Expertise
    The combined experience and knowledge of our team are some of our greatest assets. We hold regular meetings to collaborate and share knowledge to ensure we’re tackling all cases from every possible angle.
  • Free Consultations & 24-Hour Service

Need a consultation? You’ve got it. We offer free consultations, weekend and evening appointments, and even convenient 24-hour phone service.

Exceeding
Expectations

“Stracci handled my personal injury case and exceeded all expectations. My family and I are thrilled with the recovery. I would never go anywhere else. His staff went above and beyond. Thank you very much for everything.”
Niko P., Injury Case
“Paul Stracci and his entire legal team are not only aggressive and insanely knowledgeable, but they also make you feel at ease during what is already a stressful situation. They know what they are doing, they are honest, and you can trust you’ll get the best possible outcome. They have a phenomenal criminal court and personal injury practice. Only the best works at this firm and I highly recommend them to anyone who needs great representation. You won't be disappointed.”
Jen, Injury Case
“Attorney Stracci and the team treated me and my case like I was their only client. Very professional and stayed in constant communication until receiving the disposition we aimed for!  I would highly recommend Stracci Criminal Defense to all for any legal concerns or issues.”
Paul M., Criminal Case
“With being suspended from my job for allegedly costing them money through a workman compensation injury. Not only was Mr. Stracci very detailed and kept in touch constantly he prove that I was completely innocent and got the bogus case completely dismissed quickly. He personally contacted me throughout the entire case, not like other lawyers that you don't speak to at all besides in the courtroom. I will recommend him to anyone and everyone.”
Amanda, Injury Case
“I hired Paul Stracci to represent me in a felony firearms case. He and his team were able to reach a very favorable outcome within 3 months. They are competent and professional in every way. You will not regret seeking his counsel.”
Aaron, Criminal Case
“Hired Paul the day after I got out of Lake County for a DUI. I explained my situation and told him about priors. He was still confident even after I explained that this was a 3rd. I hired him and about a month later the charge was dropped! Wish I had a Paul Stracci to hire in my younger years.”
Michael, Criminal Case
“Joshua Malher is a fantastic attorney. We reached out to him for a case, and he responded immediately, and we began the process. He explained the situation with clarity, and the results were outstanding. I highly recommend Joshua to anyone who may need a criminal or personal injury attorney.”
Sonia Mendez, Injury Case
“Paul Stracci is the best lawyer I’ve ever had in my life. Throughout the times I’ve been misfortunate enough to have legal troubles or needed legal advice Stracci Law Group has always had my best interest at heart and it has always worked out in my favor. I’d personally recommend Stracci Law Group to anyone who may need legal counsel for whatever reason.”
Anthony Davis, Personal Case
“I couldn't be more satisfied with the services Paul provided and the results he was able to achieve for me in my criminal case.”
Cory, Criminal Case
How can we help?

Committed professionals providing unmatched service for your personal injury and criminal defense needs.

Stracci Law Group is proud of the multifaceted team it has assembled and looks forward to putting its combined talents and resources to work on your case.
How can we help?
FAQ

When do I need a dram shop lawyer?

You need a dram shop lawyer whether you or a loved one have experienced an injury, loss of life, or were otherwise negatively impacted by a crime committed by an intoxicated individual. From personal injury and theft to loss of life in a drink driving accidents, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the establishment or individual who irresponsibly served alcohol to someone visibly intoxicated.

Can you sue a bar for injury?

Yes. The state of Indiana holds establishments responsible if they serve alcohol to somebody under the legal drinking age or somebody who is visibly intoxicated.

In order to successfully sue a bar for injury, however, you must prove that the bar served alcohol to the person responsible for your injury despite knowing that they were intoxicated.

Who can bring a dram shop claim?

A dram shop claim can be filed by the individual who was served alcohol, or by those who were negatively impacted or injured by somebody who was served alcohol. These are known as first-party and third-party cases respectively.

First-party cases are harder to fight and third-party cases are more common.

Can a bartender go to jail for over-serving?

Typically a bartender will be held liable for injuries caused by over-serving, which is a civil trial. However, the severity of the case may dictate where the trial ends up. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Stracci Law Group and we’ll be happy to review your case for free.

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