Intoxicated Drivers: Drunk driving is a serious offense, the results of which are often devastating to innocent motorists and passengers who find themselves the victims of this crime. We have a long history in obtaining monetary compensation for our clients injured or killed by drivers operating while intoxicated from alcohol or driving under the influence of drugs. We have also assisted prosecutors so that justice is served in the criminal courts.
Liability of Bars, Restaurants and Package Stores: Our State has a law that imposes responsibility on a seller of alcohol who sells alcohol to an already intoxicated person who causes some other person's injury or death. This law is called the "Dram Shop Act." It applies to all "sellers", e.g., bars, pubs, taverns, clubs, restaurants, package stores, supermarkets, and other vendors. Money recovered under the Dram Shop Act may be in addition to any money recovered from the drunk driver or that person's insurance company.
You should be aware that there are strict time limitations that apply to Dram Shop claims requiring a detailed legal notice to be filed within months after the accident occurs. Police reports do not always provide complete information as to where the drunk driver was drinking. Investigation is nearly always needed in order to discover the identity of the bar or seller.
For these reasons, early legal consultation is strongly recommended. For example, in one case handled by Faulkner and Graves, investigation of a drunk driving accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury to a young man, revealed that the drunk driver who was headed to Foxwoods Casino at the time of the collision on Route 2, had initially been drinking at two different bars each located in Massachusetts. Recoveries were made for the victim against the drunk driver and the two pubs.
Liability of Social Hosts, Homeowners and Parents: As a result of recent advancements in the law, a person who supplies too much alcohol to a guest in their home, or furnishes alcohol to an underage person, may be held legally responsible if the guest or underage person causes harm to another person. Also, parents whose children remove alcoholic beverages from their home may be liable to an innocent victim. These developments grow out of society's view, as interpreted by our Courts, that the provision of alcohol, even by private persons, carries with it the need to be careful and cautious.