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Can a Bar Be Held Liable for a Drunk Driving Accident?

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

IL injury lawyerDrunk driving accidents often result in catastrophic consequences. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a car accident caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol, you may be exploring your opportunities for financial compensation. You may already know that you have the option of bringing a claim against the at-fault driver. However, you may not be aware of an Illinois law that allows an injured person to bring a personal injury claim against a bar or restaurant. Under Illinois dram shop liability laws, you may be able to recover compensation by suing the establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol.

Illinois Dram Shop Liability Laws

Illinois’ Dram Shop Act, also called the Liquor Control Act, allows a person injured by the actions of an inebriated person to bring a claim for damages against the bar, restaurant, or other establishment that served the intoxicated person alcohol. To bring a claim under dram shop laws, you and your attorney will need to prove that:

  • The establishment sold alcohol to the at-fault driver and the driver consumed it.
  • The alcohol provided by the establishment was the cause of the driver’s intoxication.
  • The driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
  • The injuries you sustained were caused by the driver’s intoxication.
  • You sustained damages as a result of the accident such as property damage, medical bills, or lost wages.

Personal injury claims brought under dram shop laws are most likely to be successful if it can be demonstrated that the establishment knew or should have known that the driver was already intoxicated when he or she was served alcohol.

Recovering Compensation for a Car Accident Under Dram Shop Laws

It is not always as easy as it may seem to prove the required elements in a dram shop personal injury claim. It may be difficult to confirm that the driver’s intoxication was caused by the establishment serving him or her alcohol. For example, the defendant may argue that the driver went to a second location and consumed more alcohol before causing the accident. This is one of the many reasons that it is important to work with an attorney experienced in dram shop liability cases. An experienced attorney can help you gather evidence to support your claim and present a strong argument to the court.

Contact a Waukegan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one were hurt in a drunk driving accident, contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. We can help you determine if you have a valid claim against the establishment that served the driver alcohol and explore all of your options for pursuing compensation. Call 847-662-3303 today and schedule a free case review with one of our skilled Lake County personal injury attorneys.




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