Claims Against Drunk Drivers and the Bars Where They Were Served

When a passenger or driver is injured at the hands of a drunk driver, they have grounds to file a claim against the impaired driver’s insurance policy, however, there is a possibility that the injured person may also be able to file what is called a “dram shop” claim.

“Dram shop” is a legal term that refers to a bar, pub, or tavern that sells alcoholic beverages. Dram shop laws were essentially created to hold drinking establishments liable for selling alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron, or to minors who subsequently injure or kill third parties.

The purpose of dram shop laws is to protect the public from the hazards of serving alcohol to minors and people who are obviously intoxicated.

South Carolina’s Dram Shop Laws

Dram shop laws vary from state to state. In South Carolina, when someone is injured at the hands of a drunk driver, the injured person can file a personal injury claim against the drunk driver. In addition to that, the injured person may also have a claim against the bar, pub, tavern, or liquor store that provided the alcohol to the driver shortly before the accident.

South Carolina’s dram shop claims are covered under § 61-6-2220, sales to intoxicated persons, under The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. Such claims have also been authorized through decisions of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Dram shop claims in South Carolina are civil lawsuits, which means that injured persons can file a claim against the business that provided the alcohol to the at-fault driver who caused the accident. In such cases, the injured victim may be able to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Just like any other personal injury claim, dram shop claims must be filed within South Carolina’s statute of limitations, meaning in most cases, they must be filed within three years of the date of injury.

To learn more about dram shop claims in South Carolina, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC. We are A+ Rated by the Better Business Bureau, are members of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and are 10.0 Superb Rated by Avvo.

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