Drunk Driving Lawsuits - Dram Shop Claims

If you were injured by a drunk driver there is probably a criminal case filed against the person who injured you for duii and assault.  It is important that you hire a personal injury attorney to represent you that is well versed in criminal and civil practice.  Do not wait until the criminal case is resolved to seek help from a qualified attorney.  Oftentimes there are statutes of limitation that will expire or notices that may need to be provided before the prosecution is complete.  In my experience, insurance companies will do almost anything to avoid a trial if their insured driver was convicted of injuring someone in an accident when they were intoxicated.  A qualified personal injury attorney will know how to leverage the criminal case against the defendant to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. For answers to some of your questions, please see the Automobile Accident FAQs, Crime Victim Representation FAQs and Wrongful Death FAQs.

A dram shop claim is a lawsuit against a business entity that provided alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or a minor who then injured another. Historically a dram shop was an establishment that sold alcoholic beverages by the dram, a British unit of measure. Dram shop liability refers to the body of law governing the liability of taverns, liquor stores and other establishments that serve alcoholic beverages.

When a drunk driver injures or kills someone in a car accident they can and should be held liable for the damages. If a bartender or waiter served more alcohol to the drunk driver when he or she was visibly intoxicated, the bar or restaurant shares responsibility for the resulting accident. These accidents often result in catastrophic injuries that exceed the typical driverís automobile insurance limits. Additionally, drunk drivers often fail to maintain their insurance coverage and have limited personal assets to pay for the damage they caused.  Holding the bar or restaurant partially responsible for their negligence in serving a visibly intoxicated person who injures or kills someone can help ensure the victim is adequately compensated.

Under Oregonís dram shop liability statute (ORS 471.565) a party must file proper notice to the establishment within six months of the injury or one year of a death to preserve their right to sue for serving a visibly intoxicated person. That is just one reason it is so important to contact a personal injury attorney soon after an accident.

As a deputy district attorney I prosecuted hundreds of drunk drivers and many criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter cases involving drunk drivers.  In my civil practice I have successfully negotiated policy limit settlements in almost all of my cases involving a drunk driver.  If you were injured by a drunk driver or someone you know was injured or killed by a drunk driver, contact The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. immediately.

Call 503-546-0461 or email Josh at jpl@pdxinjury.com to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.

Dram shop liability and resource links:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Portland Business Journal

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