Dram shop laws are defined by NOLO as “state statutes that impose liability on sellers of alcoholic beverages for the negligent acts of their intoxicated customers.” These laws impose liability on drinking establishments, such as bars and taverns, who serve alcohol to patrons who are already visibly or obviously intoxicated. Most provide that the drinking establishment may have to pay damages to third-parties who are injured as a result of over-serving. However, Florida’s dram shop law is different than most. Under Florida Statute 768.125, individuals or businesses that sell alcohol will generally NOT be held liable for damages or injuries caused by a drunk person that was sold alcohol. Florida businesses ARE held liable under two exceptions to this rule:
- The sale of alcohol to a minor.
- The sale of alcohol to a person who is known to be habitually addicted to alcohol.
In the event of one of the two previously mentioned circumstances, businesses are held responsible for injuries and damages caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such persons. If a drinking establishment may not be held liable under civil law, there may be other repercussions under Florida’s criminal laws.
Dram shop cases are personal injury cases. If a drunk driver injures you on the road, you are entitled under Florida law to full compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and all other injury-related damages. If the driver who injures you is under the age of 21 or habitually addicted to alcohol, and that person was served alcohol at a commercial establishment just before injuring you, speak with a personal injury attorney at Darfoor Law Firm. Call 1-833-DARFOOR about a claim against that establishment. A person filing a dram shop claim (or civil claim) can seek compensation for several different reasons. These include:
- Medical bills for any and all injuries, including hospitalization, therapy, medication and rehabilitation
- Wages lost due to injury
- Replacement costs for damaged or destroyed property
- Pain and suffering
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