When a drunk driver causes a car accident, you may be ready to take legal action against them and recover your damages in full. However, to get the most out of your claim, your Illinois car accident attorney reviews the circumstances of your case to determine whether dram shop liability laws have been violated.
If so, you may have the right to hold the liable dram shop accountable for their negligence. Find out what’s next for your claim when you contact our experienced Illinois dram shop liability lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers.
Schedule your free consultation today to determine whether you have the right to pursue a dram shop liability claim in Illinois.
What Is Dram Shop Liability?
Dram shop liability refers to a dram shop being held accountable when they serve or sell alcohol to someone already under the influence.
A dram shop is an establishment that serves or sells alcohol. There are two primary types of dram shop cases: first-party dram shop liability claims and third-party dram shop liability claims.
First-party dram shop liability claims are brought forward by the individual who was over-served or sold alcohol by the dram shop. In contrast, third-party dram shop liability claims are brought forward by the victim who suffered injuries or damages because of the drunk party’s driving.
Your attorney must prove the dram shop knew or should’ve known that the defendant was intoxicated when they continued serving them alcohol.
Illinois Dram Shop Liability Laws
In Illinois, individuals who suffered injuries due to an intoxicated driver could also file a claim against the dram shop who overserved or sold them alcohol.
Dram shop liability laws in Illinois are unique in that they allow alcohol vendors to be held accountable for a victim’s damages when the dram shop in question was negligent.
These laws are strict. Even dram shops that serve or sell alcohol to someone who is not visibly underage or intoxicated could be held accountable. In this way, Illinois laws are more victim-friendly compared to other states’ dram shop liability laws.
Proving Dram Shop Liability in Drunk Driving Cases
For your Illinois dram shop liability claim to be successful, your attorney must prove the following:
- The driver who hit you was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision
- A dram shop or alcohol vendor over-served or sold alcohol to an individual who is already under the influence
- The injuries you were diagnosed with following your drunk driving accident were caused by the driver’s intoxication or impairment
- You suffered injuries or damages as a result of the drunk driver’s impairment or intoxication
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
According to Illinois dram shop liability laws, your claim must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. Although the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Illinois is two years, dram shop liability laws have a one-year statute of limitations in place.
If your claim is filed before the dram shop liability statute of limitations runs out, the Illinois civil courts will bar you from seeking compensation through a dram shop liability lawsuit.
Compensation in Dram Shop Liability Claims
There may be caps on the amount of compensation you can recover in a dram shop liability claim against a negligent alcohol vendor.
However, there may be annual increases and decreases to these caps depending on when your accident occurred and when you file your claim. Your dram shop lawyer can give you a better idea as to how much your claim could be worth after going over your damages in further detail.
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If you’ve been hurt, it can be hard to know where to start. We begin every case with a free, no-risk evaluation. We’ll discuss your situation, answer your questions, and determine what comes next. Act now and get the recovery you deserve.
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