Dram Shop Cases
Driving drunk is not only illegal but also extremely dangerous to other motorists. When someone decides to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol, they should be held responsible for their reckless actions. Moreover, other negligent parties can be held accountable. Establishments that serve alcohol are prohibited to do so to people under 21 years old, or to people who are visibly intoxicated. If an establishment fails to follow these rules, and an accident occurs, the Charleston car accident lawyers at Lofton & Lofton are ready to help you bring a dram shop case.
We understand the burdens that you are facing, and we work tirelessly to make sure that victims’ rights are fully asserted. We have provided compassionate and experienced legal representation to South Carolina residents for over 25 years, offering personalized and dedicated service throughout the duration of a case.South Carolina Dram Shop Cases
A driver under the influence of alcohol can cause devastating injuries to passengers, pedestrians, and other road users in Charleston and elsewhere in South Carolina. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that approximately 30 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents involve a drunk driver, with injuries from these types of accidents occurring every two minutes. In South Carolina, it is illegal for individuals who are 21 or older to get behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, and people who are under 21 years old cannot drive with a BAC of .02 or higher. Evidence of these BAC levels can be used in civil litigation to show negligence.
Additionally, in South Carolina, it is a criminal offense for restaurants, bars, clubs, and other establishments that sell or serve alcoholic beverages to sell alcohol to patrons who are under 21 years old or to sell alcohol to patrons who are visibly intoxicated, under statutes S.C. Code Ann. §61-4-580(1) and S.C. Code Ann. § 61-4-580(2). Although South Carolina does not have a civil dram shop statute providing for a specific civil action against these dram shop defendants, courts have allowed the criminal statute to provide victims with legal recourse to receive compensation from dram shops responsible for overserving drivers.
Victims often need additional financial assistance beyond what an at-fault driver’s insurance policy covers for injuries sustained in a crash, and when an establishment has also acted negligently, it should help bear the burden of these costs. To recover damages in a dram shop case, it may be important for an injury attorney to collect evidence regarding a business’ practices in training employees, including bartenders and servers, to recognize the intoxicated state of patrons and make proper requests for age identification. If a bar, restaurant, or other venue does not take reasonable actions to avoid overserving a customer, and that customer causes an accident due to his or her intoxicated state, that establishment should be held accountable.
Victims may receive damages for past and future medical expenses, rehabilitative treatment costs, lost income, and diminished earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering compensation. Families who have lost a loved one as a result of a fatal collision may be entitled to burial and funeral costs, among other damages.Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Charleston
The aftermath of a serious drunk driving collision can be an overwhelming and emotional time, during which victims and families should prioritize their recovery. However, it is also important to contact a car accident attorney who can assert your legal rights. The Charleston attorneys at Lofton & Lofton assist victims of drunk driving accidents with holding all of the parties responsible for their harm legally liable. In many cases, this includes a bar, restaurant, or other establishment that negligently served alcohol in violation of South Carolina law. If you have questions regarding your legal options following an accident involving an intoxicated driver, call our office at 843.722.6319 or contact us online to learn more about our services.