NC Dram Shop Laws: Holding All Those Responsible for DWI Crashes

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, depending on the circumstances of the crash, the victim may also be able to 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 businesses partially responsible for DWI crashes 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
  • 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.

There are a number of damages that victims can seek financial compensation for under the dram shop law. They can sue for the medical expenses incurred for treatment of their injuries, as well as loss of income if they were unable to work while they recovered. Other damages include pain and suffering, permanent disability, emotional trauma, and more.

In accidents where the victim has died, their family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against not only the at-fault driver but also the establishment that served the driver alcohol.

There are a number of damages that the victim’s family can seek in a wrongful death claim including loss of the victim’s love, guidance, and financial support.

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, Washburn & Sharp has 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 to schedule a free case evaluation.