If you or a loved one have been injured in a wreck caused by a drunk driver, you’ve probably been left with lots of questions. In some cases, South Carolina’s dram shop laws may be able to help you recover a full, fair settlement. Here’s what you need to know about South Carolina’s dram shop laws and how they may affect your case.
Dram Shop Laws in South Carolina: What Are They?
Many restaurants, bars, and other establishments often “over-serve” their patrons in an effort to rack up patrons’ bills and generate a bigger profit for their business. When these heavily intoxicated patrons get behind the wheel, our South Carolina car accident lawyer says, they are putting themselves and everyone around them at risk.
While alcohol sales by bars and restaurants are completely legal in South Carolina, these businesses have a responsibility to uphold public safety. If an establishment over-serves a patron who gets behind the wheel and harms or kills another driver in an accident, the bar or restaurant can and should be held accountable for their role in causing the crash. South Carolina’s rules about dram shop liability allow us to hold them responsible.
In South Carolina, businesses that serve alcohol have a responsibility known as “dram shop liability”. This means that if an establishment is responsible for getting a patron intoxicated, it is also responsible for what that patron does after they leave the bar. If an establishment overserves a patron who then gets into an accident, the establishment can be held liable for any resulting damages. This means the bar or restaurant may be responsible for paying for the injured victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, and any other damages.
It is important to keep in mind that South Carolina does not have specific dram shop laws, but rather uses “dram shop liability” rule to pursue these claims. Investigating and filing a dram shop claim can be difficult, but our experienced attorneys can help you navigate the legal process.
How Do SC’s Dram Shop Laws Affect My Drunk Driving Injury Case?
If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, you may have questions about how you will pay for the resulting damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Our drunk driving attorneys can investigate your case and determine whether dram shop liability may be applicable to your claim.
If the drunk driver who hit you was over-served by an establishment in the moments leading up to the wreck, you may be able to recover compensation from the establishment’s insurance company. This compensation could help pay for damages such as your medical bills and treatment, especially if you have suffered catastrophic injuries that may need long-term care.
For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver who had only the state minimum insurance policy limits, their insurance may only cover $25,000 of your damages. If you suffered severe life-changing injuries that have affected your ability to work or engage in daily activities, you will likely need much more than $25,000 to cover your losses. If our attorneys discover that the drunk driver who hit you was served at a bar before the accident, we may be able to help you recover a much larger settlement from the bar’s insurance company to fully cover your damages.
Whether you suspect that the drunk driver who hit you had been drinking at a bar or restaurant before the wreck or you’re just not sure how you’re going to pay for your losses, it is important to consult with an attorney. Our team of drunk driving lawyers has years of experience handling cases just like yours. We work hard to thoroughly investigate how the accident happened, whether the drunk driver was served by any establishments, and whether those establishments knowingly allowed an intoxicated driver to get behind the wheel.