There are a number of parties that can be held accountable in any drunk driving accident. But did you know that there are some parties that may not seem directly involved in the accident, but can still be held liable in a civil claim?
One of the most obvious parties that can be held liable in a drunk driving accident claim is the intoxicated driver. However, victims may also hold liable the commercial establishment that served or sold the alcohol before the accident. These claims are filed under Georgia’s dram shop statute, which allows commercial drinking establishments such as pubs, restaurants, clubs, or liquor stores, to be held accountable in those cases in which drivers drank alcohol sold by the establishment just before an accident.
If the commercial establishment willfully and knowingly serves or sells alcohol to a person below the age of 21, they can be held liable. The establishment can also be held liable if they knowingly serve alcohol to a person who is noticeably intoxicated, and he or she then drives and causes an accident. The establishment, however, must also be aware that the customer will soon be operating a motor vehicle at the time of serving or selling of the alcohol. This is an important element to proving your claim.
Similar laws in Georgia also allow a social host to be held responsible in a drunk driving accident claim. If the host of a party serves alcohol to a minor under the age of to 21, or to an intoxicated guest who was visibly drunk at the time, and then goes out and causes an accident, the host may be held liable in a claim. Just as with the commercial establishment, a social host must be aware that the person will be operating a motor vehicle after drinking at his or her home or venue.
To understand more about Georgia’s dram shop and social host liability laws and how they affect your drunk driving accident claim, speak to an Atlanta personal injury lawyer at KWF. Our firm is dedicated to the representation of persons injured in drunk driving accidents across the state of Georgia.