Can You Sue A Bar For Letting A Drunk Driver Injure You In Florida?
After a drunk driver causes an accident in Florida, it’s clear who’s to blame: The drunk driver. But when you delve a little deeper into the circumstances behind the crash, you might start to wonder who’s really to blame. What about the bar that sold this drunk driver alcohol? What about the bartenders that stood by and watched as this individual walked to their car and started the engine? Shouldn’t they be held accountable as well? Can you sue a bar for letting a drunk driver injure you in Florida? The answer might surprise you.
Florida’s Dram Shop Laws Explained
If you want to sue a bar for allowing a drunk driver to get behind the wheel, you need to refer to your state’s “dram shop laws.” These laws lay out in clear terms whether you can hold a bar liable for selling an alcohol to a drunk driver who subsequently caused your injuries. In Florida, dram shop laws are quite restrictive. Under normal circumstances, you cannot sue a bar for this type of negligence. However, there are a few notable exceptions:
- Underaged Patrons: If a bar (or any other establishment) sells alcohol to someone who is below the legal drinking age, they can be held liable for the injuries that this drunk driver causes.
- Habitually Addicted Persons: A bar can also be held liable for injuries if they sell alcohol to someone who is “habitually addicted.” This is another word for “alcoholic.” If someone is a “regular” who is known for getting way too drunk, bars have a legal responsibility to keep them from driving.
It’s worth mentioning that “social hosts” cannot be held liable under this law. So if you’re simply holding a dinner party and someone gets too drunk, no one can sue you. The worst that can happen is a driver’s license revocation – but only if you gave alcohol to a minor at your party.
A Recent Example of a Related Lawsuit
On November 9th, it was reported that a bar in Florida had settled for $1 million after being sued under Florida’s dram shop laws. This bar had provided alcohol to a minor, who then got behind the wheel and caused injuries. The bar was insured, and their insurance provider paid this settlement on their behalf.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Orlando personal injury attorney, look no further than Payer Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs in the Sunshine State – and we know how serious drunk driving accidents can be. While it’s true that Florida’s dram shop laws can be quite restrictive, you still have the potential to sue a bar if they sold alcohol to an underage individual. Book your consultation today, and we can help you explore various legal options for compensation.