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Is a drinking establishment liable for a client’s DUI?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2019 | Car Accidents |

In Connecticut, the Dram Shop Act establishes liability for a bar that serves alcohol to an already intoxicated person. If another driver causes a collision with your vehicle while under the influence after leaving a bar, you may be able to sue the bar for costs associated with your injuries.

If you are currently pursuing a personal injury lawsuit after a DUI, familiarize yourself with the Connecticut Dram Shop Act, which covers bars, restaurants, liquor stores and similar establishments that serve alcohol.

How to file a claim

First, you must give written notice to the bar in question within 120 days of the accident, or 180 days if the accident resulted in serious incapacitation or death. This notice must include the following:

  • The name and address of the injured person
  • The name of the driver who was responsible for the accident
  • The time and date that the driver purchased liquor from the establishment
  • The date, place and time of the injury

For the court to hold a dram shop responsible for a DUI injury, the server must have acted not simply negligently, but recklessly by providing alcohol to a person who is already visibly intoxicated.

Available damages

In a Connecticut dram shop liability case, the injured person can collect up to $250,000 in eligible damages, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical costs
  • The value of household services such as childcare the person can no longer perform because of injury
  • Lost wages or benefits
  • Lost or damaged property, such as the person’s vehicle

The cap of $250,000 is above and beyond any amount granted by the court in an action against the driver who caused the accident. Usually, the plaintiff files a dram shop liability claim concurrently with claims against the other driver and/or his or her insurance company. The Connecticut court will dismiss claims filed after the 180-day statute of limitations. For this reason, you must act quickly to explore your legal options in this type of case.



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