After an accident with a drunk driver, you might assume you can only take legal action against the driver. After all, they were negligent by choosing to drink and drive. However, you might also be able to file a claim against the business that served alcohol to the driver. 

How Dram Shop Liability Works

An establishment that serves alcohol might be responsible for making sure that their patron is not intoxicated before they are on their way. For example, a bar should limit how many drinks they serve a patron. However, this is a complex case to win because a jury in a civil liability case tends to want to hold the motorist responsible for the accident. 

When a Tavern Might Be Liable

One example of a dram shop case that is easier to win is if the at-fault motorist was a minor. A bar is expected to check a customer's ID to ensure they are old enough to be served alcohol.

How to Prove That the Bar Owner is At Fault

You must gather evidence to build a solid case if the dram shop was negligent. An auto accident attorney can assist you with this. They will look for evidence that the dram shop served alcohol to a minor or that they continued to serve alcohol when it was not reasonable to do so.

How Negligence Works

A party is considered negligent when they know or should have known their actions were negligent. To prove that the bar was negligent, your attorney may need to interview witnesses who will then tell a story of how the bar owner served too many drinks and caused a dangerous situation. Serving an individual while intoxicated or after closing time are examples of a bar owner acting negligently. 

Why You Should Sue Multiple Parties

If you prove that the bar owner was negligent, you can increase the number of parties from which you can seek compensation. You will still want to pursue a settlement with the at-fault party's insurance provider. However, increasing the number of individuals you can seek compensation with will cover all your expenses.

For instance, if your medical expenses, including long-term medical costs, are so high that the auto insurance provider of the at-fault motorist cannot cover them, you may need to seek compensation from other parties, such as the establishment serving alcohol, to be able to pay for a lifetime of expenses. 

Contact a drunk driving accident attorney to learn more.