Can you hold the bar who served the drunk driver alcohol liable for your injuries in a DUI accident? Here, learn how Washington’s dram shop law may help.

Washington’s Dram Shop Law: How it Can Help in Your Auto Crash Case

When you suffer injuries in a car accident that was caused by another driver, you need to identify any potential parties and file a claim for compensation with their insurance companies. This ensures that you receive all the compensation you deserve if the negligent motorist does not have sufficient assets to fully compensate you. If the person who caused your wreck was drunk, you may have a dram shop claim as well as a claim of negligence against the driver.

Who Could Face Liability for Compensating You Under Washington State’s Dram Shop Law?

Dram shop laws hold businesses who negligently serve alcohol to an intoxicated person liable for compensating the victims if he causes a drunk driving accident. In Washington State, a business, such as a bar or restaurant, can face liability for serving alcohol in these situations:

  • If the person was a minor under 21 years old
  • If an adult patron was “apparently intoxicated” or “obviously intoxicated”

In addition, there is a separate law that prohibits a business from selling alcohol to “any person apparently under the influence of liquor.”

Dram Shop Claims Can Be Complicated to Prove

Dram shop claims can be beneficial to drunk driving accident victims because it can be an additional source of compensation. However, these cases can be more complex to prove. A victim must prove that there were sufficient signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, difficulty walking, or drunken behavior, and that the business continued to serve the individual alcohol despite these warnings. This can require additional investigations and collection of evidence to prove the bar or restaurant’s liability. Obtaining surveillance tapes of the bar or restaurant through issuance of a court-ordered subpoena and interviewing witnesses who were present when the drunk driver was being served may be necessary.

If you are trying to hold a bar, restaurant, or other establishment liable for compensating you for your injuries or for the death of a loved one in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you will need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney. Our skilled attorneys have years of experience helping the victims of drunk driving accidents pursue claims against the negligent driver and other responsible parties under Washington’s Dram Shop Law. To learn how we can assist you, call our office to schedule your free consultation.