Philadelphia Dram Shop Lawyer
Most people know this stereotypical scene: A drunk sits at a bar, downing a last shot of whiskey. He or she turns to the barkeeper and says, “Give me another” – only to be cut off for the night. Though this situation usually ends with the customer walking away, it is incredibly important that the barista intervened.
Philadelphia Dram Shop Laws
Any business that sells alcohol in Pennsylvania must follow the state’s Dram Shop law, which states that enterprises may not sell alcohol to anyone who is:
- Under 21
- Visibly intoxicated
If a business or its employees fail to comply with these laws, it may face a suspended liquor license, fines, and even a prison sentence. This is regardless of whether this negligence injures a person. Thus, it is vitally important that all entrepreneurs and their employees are aware of these responsibilities.
Dram Shop Liability and Consequences
Now imagine this scenario – instead of the shop cutting off the drinker, he or she has a few more before getting behind the wheel and driving home. Unfortunately, this leads to a fatal accident on the way and a wrongful death suit. According to Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop law, the drunk driver and the shop that enabled him or her to consume a dangerous amount of alcohol are responsible.
Gathering Evidence and Pursuing a Dram Law Claim
Most plaintiffs cite the Dram Shop law when an intoxicated person’s negligence injures them. However, collecting evidence that proves an establishment should have kept a person of legal age from drinking is difficult – unless the plaintiff was also at the bar.
For example, a bartender may not be able to tell that a composed person is drunk. A drinker may also have something else in his or her system (e.g., illegal or prescription drugs) that exacerbates even a single drink, and people have different levels of alcohol tolerance. This is why working with a Philadelphia attorney experienced in this area of law is so important. These professionals can help you:
- Prove that a business sold alcohol to the negligent party, who was visibly intoxicated. The keyword “visibly” is important here; an attorney can speak with other workers who were at the bar or obtain security footage to demonstrate things like body language and verbal cues. If a person’s blood alcohol content at the time of the accident is remarkably high, it may be used as circumstantial evidence to prove that he or she should have been cut off at the bar.
- Demonstrate a cause of action, such as the business directly contributed to the accident by continuing to sell alcohol.
Collecting this evidence and articulating a claim take some time. It is easy for a bartender to claim he or she did not know a patron was intoxicated. That is not an excuse, however, to violate the Dram Shop law – and it should never keep a person from being compensated for his or her pain and suffering.
Get Started with a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney Today
Any negligent act enabled by alcohol is irresponsible, and the state takes these crimes very seriously. Whether a drunk driver strikes your car on the way home or an aggressive patron assaults you, reach out to a Philadelphia injury attorney for a personal look at your case. Without this guidance, it is easy to overlook a legal option – such as a Dram Shop law violation – that could compensate you for any damages.
Get started with your claim by contacting the team at Ciccarelli Law Offices today. We have decades of hands-on experience with Pennsylvania’s laws, and we know something behind the scenes likely contributed to a personal injury claim. Work with us, and we will explore every legal outlet at your disposal.