Washington has a dram shop statute that makes a business which sells alcoholic drinks or a host who serves liquor to a drinker who is obviously intoxicated or close to it, strictly liable to anyone injured by the drunken patron or guest. Statutory violations are “punishable by a fine of not more than $500 as well as separate [civil] actions.”
One purpose for these laws is to keep persons who are already inebriated from overindulging in alcohol and being injured or killed from over-intoxication. The most important goal of dram shop laws is to prevent hosts or bartenders from providing more alcohol to an inebriated patron who could potentially get into a vehicle and drive off, placing innocent persons at risk of injury or death.
Establishments in Seattle, which are licensed to sell liquor to patrons, are required to properly train employees to assess whether or not a person has had too much to drink.
Holding an Alcohol-serving Establishment Liable
If a drunk driver has injured you or someone you love, you have the legal right to sue the establishment responsible for endangering the public by allowing an intoxicated patron to leave the establishment and drive away. You may be entitled to compensation from the restaurant, bar, pub, liquor store or other alcohol-serving establishment if you meet the burden of proof.
Any alcohol-serving establishment is accountable to victims of drunk drivers when its bartenders or waiters knowingly over-serve an underage or obviously inebriated patron. The difficult part is that the victim must show the restaurant knew that the driver was a minor or intoxicated.
How a Washington Injury Attorney Can Help
The legal hurdles associated with burden of proof can be daunting, and the longer you wait to pursue your case, the harder it may be. A Seattle Injury Attorney will conduct the legal and investigative work necessary such as;
- Obtaining copies of the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) exams
- Interviewing eyewitnesses, police officers, paramedics and others at the scene of the accident who can offer more details about what happened
- Gathering witness statements, credit card receipts and decisive video surveillance evidence from the establishment
Contact Seattle Car Accident Lawsuit Attorneys
If a drunk driver injures you or someone you love, an experienced Seattle car accident attorney at Phillips Law Firm can help. If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our Seattle personal injury lawsuit attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.
The personal injury lawyers at Phillips Law Firm have successfully represented injured individuals and their families in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Auburn, Renton, Federal Way, Bellingham, Marysville, Lakewood, Redmond, Shoreline, and throughout the State of Washington.