Alcohol-Related Accidents and Injuries May Fall Under CT Dram Shop Liability Laws
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of someone having been served too much alcohol, contact the liquor liability attorneys at Bartlett Legal Group now. We will help you determine if it is possible to bring a personal injury suit under the Connecticut dram shop laws. If we find you have a viable case, we will fight for your rights and help you maximize compensation for your losses and injuries.
Drunk Driver Accident? Bar fight? Get the Representation you Deserve!
If you are injured in an auto accident by a drunk driver, in addition to bringing a claim against the drunk driver you may have the ability to recover from the bar or restaurant who served drinks to the driver. In order to do this effectively, you will need the assistance of a seasoned liquor liability attorney.
What is a “Dramshop” or Dram Shop?
This is an old legal term that has passed down through the years. It relates to establishments that serve liquor such as bars, nightclubs or sometimes restaurants. Liquor was once dispensed by the liquid measure the dram, hence the term dram shop.
Connecticut established dram shop laws to prohibit bartenders and waitstaff from serving people who were already showing signs of intoxication. Under the laws, if someone who is served alcohol while visibly intoxicated injures another person, the bar or restaurant who continued to serve them may be liable for the injuries sustained. Liquor liability, also known as “Dram Shop Liability” may also cover injuries sustained in a fight or other physical altercation if the club owner continued to serve alcohol to a person who was obviously intoxicated. CONN. GEN. STAT. § 30-102. Dram Shop Act; Sale of alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person.
Liquor liability attorneys who know the dram shop laws
Although every case is unique and past results are not a guarantee of future success, Attorney Frank Bartlett, Jr. has been recognized in 2010 and 2013 for obtaining one of the largest verdicts on record in the state of Connecticut in the area of liquor liability or dram shop liability. He has also been featured in the Connecticut Law Tribune’s Personal Injury Yearbook as a result of dram shop verdicts.
Attorney Bartlett has successfully represented dram shop cases before the Superior Courts, the Appellate Courts and the Connecticut Supreme Court (see TV coverage video near the bottom of our homepage “Supreme Court Oral Argument in Patrick Wood v. Club LLC, et al.”). Please look at the alcohol-related case results on our results page.
When is a Bar or Restaurant Owner Potentially Liable for Injuries?
When a person is injured as a result of a drunk driver, they may be able to file a lawsuit seeking to hold the bar or restaurant who served the drunk driver while intoxicated. The plaintiff must prove the following elements to succeed in a dram shop lawsuit:
- Service of Alcohol While Visibly Intoxicated: Connecticut law imposes strict liability for injuries that occur as a result of a person’s intoxication if the plaintiff can prove that the bar or restaurant continued to serve alcohol to a patron who was visibly intoxicated. This means that a plaintiff must prove that the drunk driver was showing visible signs of intoxication such as unsteady gait, glassy eyes, slurred speech, and other signs, yet the bar continued to serve the individual. Proof of service after visible intoxication generally requires a thorough investigation by your team at Bartlett Legal Group, including interviewing witnesses and securing security footage from the bar or restaurant.
- Damages: The injury caused by the intoxicated patron must have caused either economic or non-economic damages. This means that a bar or restaurant owner cannot be held liable unless the injured person incurred medical bills, lost wages or damage to their future earning capacity, or pain and suffering.
What compensation are you entitled to?
In personal injury cases, compensatory damages are awarded to compensate the injured person for the harm caused by the intoxicated person. Compensatory damages attempt to make the victim “whole” again and provide financial compensation for economic and non-economic losses. Also known as actual damages, economic losses that may be covered include:
- Medical expenses: These damages cover the cost of hospital stays, doctor visits, physical therapy, prescription drugs, assistive devices and similar expenses. When an injury is severe or permanent, the personal injury victim may also be awarded compensation for future medical expenses.
- Lost wages: If you must take time away from work to recover from your injuries you may be able to collect compensation for lost wages.
- Loss of earning capacity: When a person is unable to earn the same amount of money as he or she did prior to their accident, they may be awarded compensation for a loss of earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering: Damages for pain and suffering typically compensate the victim for the physical pain caused by their injuries. These damages may also include compensation for emotional distress, which refers to the anxiety, depression, fear, frustration and other mental sufferings that can develop as a result of an injury.
- Loss of Consortium: The spouse of the injured party may be able to recover compensation for the loss of marital benefits. Loss of companionship, sexual relations, affection, and comfort are among the compensable marital benefits. Loss of consortium damages is typically awarded in cases of life-changing or permanent injuries.
- Additional Damages May be Available: In the State of Connecticut, if a bartender continues to serve a patron who is obviously intoxicated, the owner may be held liable for punitive damages in addition to the damages available to compensate the victim for their injuries. The attorneys at Bartlett Legal Group, LLC, work hard to investigate the bars knowledge of the individual’s intoxication to determine whether our clients may be entitled to additional compensation due to a bartender’s recklessness.
Whether you are a patron of a restaurant or bar or you are simply walking home from an evening out, you should not have to be worried about being injured by a person who has consumed too much alcohol. Serious injuries sustained in fights, car accidents or simply walking down the street and being struck by an out of control vehicle can be life-altering and in some cases can result in death.
Bartlett Legal Group, LLC is centrally located and represents clients throughout all Connecticut towns and cities. Don’t feel you may not have a case. Call now for a no-obligation free consultation.