Dram Shop Lawyer and Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
More than 10,000 alcohol-related car accidents occur every year in North Carolina. These accidents leave hundreds of people dead and thousands more with injuries. Injured people often seek compensation from the drunk drivers who caused their accidents. There is another option for many people harmed by drunk driving. Dram Shop law prohibits bars, restaurants, ABC stores, and other establishments from providing alcohol to customers who are intoxicated or to people who are under 21 years old. Courts hold these businesses liable for damages when their employees’ actions result in drunk driving accidents. Similarly, people who serve alcohol at gatherings or parties in their homes could be liable when their guests drive drunk and cause car accidents.
What is North Carolina Dram Shop Law?
North Carolina state statutes regulate the sale of alcohol. These statutes specifically prohibit giving or selling alcohol to intoxicated people or to underage people. State appeals court decisions have allowed injured victims to seek compensation from bars and other businesses for their injuries, medical bills, and other damages.
Do I Have a Dram Shop Law Case?
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident through no fault of your own, you may find it necessary to sue the bar that served the drunk driver. Drunk driving accidents often cause more severe injuries than accidents that do not involve alcohol. Drunk drivers often have trouble controlling their speed. They may drift into lanes of oncoming traffic or enter highway off-ramps, causing head-on wrong-way accidents. Head-on collisions and accidents involving high speeds can cause serious injuries to innocent drivers and passengers. Some victims’ injuries are catastrophic, involving the brain, spinal cord, or neck. Any of these serious injuries could cause temporary or permanent disability, drastically affecting injured people’s lives and disrupting their families’ routines.
Many people try to recover damages from drunk drivers only to find that their insurance policy limits are not enough to cover their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Many drivers in North Carolina carry only the minimum amount of insurance coverage, which is $30,000 per injured person and $60,000 for all bodily injury expenses. These amounts are much too low for many people injured in drunk driving accidents. You may be able to take care of more of your bills if you have underinsured motorist coverage or MedPay on your own auto insurance policy. However, many people do not carry these types of coverage.
Drunk drivers can be held personally liable for any damages in excess of their policy limits. However, most people do not have the money or assets to cover the extensive damages that drunk driving accidents often cause. This is where making a claim under North Carolina Dram Shop law may be helpful for many injured people.
Do Dram Shop Cases Settle?
Dram shop cases are complex, involving high damages, serious injuries, and questions of liability. While these cases often settle, it is usually difficult for injured people to get fair settlements without an attorney representing them. The business that provided the at-fault driver with the alcohol will probably deny its liability for your injuries. Proving fault requires discovery, talking with insurance companies, and other tasks that are best handled by an attorney.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a drunk driving accident, you are probably feeling overwhelmed with medical debt. The insurance adjusters you may speak to know you are feeling the sting of lost wages and lost earning potential. They will try to take advantage of your desperate financial situation, offering you low settlements if they offer to settle at all. Our drunk driving accident and dram shop liability attorneys use several tactics to alleviate some of the pressure from insurance companies and from medical providers. By handling discussions with insurance adjusters and creditors, your attorney can give you a chance to focus on recovering from your injuries.
Give us a call or send us an email to set up a FREE initial consultation today, where you can speak with an attorney who will answer your dram shop law questions and make a plan to move forward with your claim.