For millions of people all across the country, there’s nothing better on a Friday night than spending an evening sharing a few drinks at the bar with close friends. Sometimes, though, the line between “a few drinks” and “too many drinks” is crossed. When that happens, the results can be catastrophic, leading to injury, property destruction, or worse.
Who should be held liable for such tragedies, though? The intoxicated individuals? Or the vendors who sold them the alcohol? Maybe both?
Figuring out the answer to that question on your own isn’t always easy. That’s where The Moran Law Group’s personal injury lawyers in Carbondale, PA, come in. We know how serious the financial and emotional aftermath of a run-in with dangerously intoxicated individuals can be. Because of that, we want to make sure you have all the resources necessary to get the compensation you deserve.
If your life has been negatively affected by someone acting under the influence, pursuing dram shop claims in Carbondale, PA, could be the answer.
What Are Dram Shop Laws?
The phrase “dram shop” is an uncommon one rarely used outside of legal context. For that reason, many people today don’t recognize the term. Fortunately, the definition is actually very simple and familiar. A dram shop is any business that serves alcohol to patrons in “drams” (an archaic word denoting a small unit of liquid). Examples of such businesses include bars, taverns, inns, and liquor stores.
Dram shop laws are any legal statutes regulating how alcohol in such establishments is sold and who should be held liable for crimes or accidents resulting from an individual’s behavior while intoxicated. Dram shop laws are generally decided on the state level, meaning that every US state has its own set of liability standards.
Liquor Liability in Pennsylvania
Although it’s essential for anyone imbibing alcohol to do so responsibly, those who profit off the sale of alcoholic beverages are also expected to act ethically to preserve the safety of their customers. That’s why Pennsylvania’s liquor liability standards state that a bar or other alcohol vendor can be held liable for damages caused by one of their customers, but only if it is found that said customer was visibly intoxicated at the time they were served them alcohol.
One exception to the “visible intoxication” requirement for dram shop liability is in the case of alcohol sales made to customers who are not considered “legally competent,” such as individuals who are under the legal drinking age. Additionally, all alcohol vendors are required to have a valid liquor license and are forbidden from selling alcohol after hours. Any businesses that violate these laws may be held liable for the actions of their patrons.
Pursuing Liquor Liability & Dram Shop Claims in Carbondale, PA
Dram shop claims in Carbondale, PA, can be tricky to pursue without professional help. Proving that a business willingly served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person typically requires witness testimony or other forms of evidence. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries or other damages due to the negligence of an alcohol vendor, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
For more information about Pennsylvania liquor liability laws or to get help pursuing a dram shop claim, contact The Moran Law Group today.