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 over-served 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 over-served alcohol may be pursued in the courts.
- Drunk 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 over-served 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:
- The person who provided the alcohol must have known that the individual was already intoxicated when they served it.
- 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 drunk 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.