How Georgia Dram Shop Liability Law Affects DUI Victim Rights

    Posted on Monday, May 6th, 2024 at 8:50 am    

    How Georgia Dram Shop Liability Law Affects DUI Victim Rights Image

    When an intoxicated driver causes an accident in Georgia, the consequences can be devastating for victims and their families. Injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens often follow, leaving victims wondering where to turn for help. While criminal charges against the drunk driver may provide some sense of justice, they do little to compensate victims for their losses. However, Georgia’s dram shop liability law offers another path to recovery for those harmed by intoxicated drivers.

    Understanding Dram Shop Liability in Georgia

    Dram shop liability refers to the legal responsibility of establishments that sell or serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals who later cause harm to others. This law applies to businesses such as bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and liquor stores in Georgia.

    Under Georgia’s dram shop liability law (O.C.G.A. § 51-1-40), An establishment may be deemed liable for injuries or damages caused by an intoxicated patron if:

    • The establishment knowingly sold, furnished, or served alcohol to a person who was noticeably intoxicated or underage, and
    • The intoxicated person’s alcohol consumption was the proximate cause of the injuries or damages suffered by the victim.

    This means that if a bar serves alcohol to a visibly drunk or underage patron who then drives and causes an accident, the bar may be held partially responsible for the resulting injuries and damages.

    Proving Dram Shop Liability in Georgia DUI Cases

    To pursue a dram shop liability claim in Georgia, victims must demonstrate that the establishment in question knew or should have known that the patron was noticeably intoxicated or underage when they were served alcohol.

    Evidence that may support a dram shop liability claim includes:

    • Eyewitness accounts of the patron’s visible intoxication at the establishment
    • Video footage from security cameras showing the patron’s behavior
    • Receipts or tab records indicating the number of drinks served to the patron
    • Blood alcohol content (BAC) test results from the intoxicated driver
    • Testimony from expert witnesses regarding the effects of alcohol consumption on behavior and judgment

    At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., our skilled attorneys work to gather all of the necessary evidence to build a strong case on your behalf. We collaborate with investigators, expert witnesses, and other professionals to demonstrate the establishment’s liability and fight for the compensation you deserve.

    The Importance of Pursuing a Dram Shop Liability Claim

    For victims of DUI accidents, pursuing a dram shop liability claim can provide a much-needed source of financial recovery. Compensation obtained through a successful liability claim can help cover the following:

    • Medical expenses related to injuries sustained in the accident
    • Lost wages due to time away from work during recovery
    • Property damage, such as vehicle repair or replacement costs
    • Pain and suffering
    • Emotional distress and mental anguish
    • Loss of enjoyment of life
    • Loss of consortium (the impact on the victim’s relationship with their spouse)

    By holding establishments accountable for their actions in contributing to DUI accidents, dram shop liability claims also serve an important public safety function. These claims send a clear message that serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons will not be tolerated and that businesses must prioritize responsible alcohol service to prevent harm to others.

    Understanding the Complexities of Dram Shop Liability Claims

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    While Georgia’s dram shop liability law provides a path to recovery for DUI accident victims, understanding the legal process can be complex and challenging. Establishments and their insurance companies often vigorously defend against these claims, making it crucial to have an experienced attorney.

    At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., our experienced lawyers are well-versed in Georgia’s dram shop liability law. With a history of successful cases, we collaborate closely with our clients to grasp their individual objectives and tailor strategies aimed at optimizing their compensation.

    Our commitment to client service means we are with you every step of the way, from the initial consultation to the resolution of your case.

    Protect Your Rights as a DUI Accident Victim in Georgia

    If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a DUI accident in Georgia, don’t hesitate to seek the legal guidance you need to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. The dedicated attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. are here to help you navigate the complex process of filing a dram shop liability claim and fighting for justice on your behalf.

    Contact us today at (770) 205-8827 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us put our experience, knowledge, and commitment to work for you and help you hold negligent establishments accountable for their role in your injuries. Together, we can work towards securing the financial recovery you need to rebuild your life after a devastating DUI accident.

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