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Dram shop cases may provide additional compensation

Filing a personal injury or wrongful death suit against drunk drivers can hold them accountable for injuries and deaths they cause. If you or a family member was the victim of a drunk driving accident, it is important to determine whether there may be an additional liable party: the bar or restaurant that overserved the drunk driver.

Connecticut is currently one of 43 states with dram shop laws. "Dram shop" is an old term adopted from English drinking establishments. Today, we use it to refer to sellers of alcohol such as bars, clubs, restaurants and other venues. Under Connecticut's Dram Shop Act, if an alcohol vendor knowingly sells alcohol to someone who is intoxicated, the vendor may be held liable for any resulting injuries or deaths.

Depending on the specifics of the case, you could receive damages of up to $250,000 in a dram shop lawsuit. These damages may be in addition to any compensation from the personal injury or wrongful death suit against the drunk driver.

Drunk drivers often cause serious accidents that result in catastrophic or fatal injuries to other drivers and passengers. Those who suffer traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries may be unable to work or care for themselves or their families. They may need long-term care from specialists and/or daily personal care assistance. They and their families will need considerable compensation to cover their medical expenses and additional losses.

There are strict deadlines for filing a notice of intent to file a dram shop suit. Because these cases can be complex for numerous reasons, it is best to speak with an experienced attorney if you think a bar or other establishment overserved the drunk driver in your case. He or she will be able to determine whether a dram shop suit is possible.

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