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A North Carolina DUI Accident Attorney Discusses Dram Shop Laws

When a person is injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, the victim can sue the driver for financial compensation for the losses they have suffered because of those injuries. In this state, the victim can also pursue damages against the business that served alcohol to the intoxicated driver. This is referred to as the North Carolina dram shop law, which holds the business partially responsible for the crash if they were negligent in serving an already drunk patron.

How to Prove Liability

Businesses such as bars, clubs, and restaurants fall under the legal umbrella of the state’s dram shop laws. In order for a North Carolina drunk driving accident attorney to be successful with the lawsuit, the attorney must prove the following:

  • The at-fault driver was legally drunk at the time of the accident;
  • The crash and the injuries occurred because the driver was drunk and not for any other reason;
  • Employees of the business named in the dram shop suit served alcohol to the at-fault driver before the crash happened; and
  • It was that alcohol that caused or contributed to the at-fault driver’s intoxication.

In many dram shop lawsuits, the victim’s attorney will likely call witnesses to testify that the at-fault driver was drinking at the business named in the lawsuit. These witnesses can include employees and other patrons who were at the location.



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The types of damages that victims can seek financial compensation for their personal injuries and the inability of the victim to be able to work and earn income. The victim can also sue for medical expenses and any other losses they have suffered

In situations where the victim has died, their family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against not only the at-fault driver but also the establishment who served the driver alcohol. If the victim was the primary means of support for their family, the family can sue for that loss of future income.

Contact a Carolinas Accident Attorney for Assistance

If you have been injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, contact a North Carolina car accident attorney to see what type of financial damages you may be entitled to. The legal team from Shapiro & Appleton have been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled North Carolina car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at 757-204-5231 for a free case evaluation.

Eric K. Washburn
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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