When someone drinks too much alcohol, they become a threat to the public. In too many instances, drunk individuals get behind the wheel and cause accidents which have the chance of causing catastrophic and life-changing injuries to those struck. Under New Jersey law, premises owners may be held responsible for those who drink too much at their establishment. Here’s what bar owners need to know about New Jersey dram shop laws.
New Jersey Dram Shop Liability Law
According to the New Jersey Revised Statutes, Section 2A:22A-4, any person who suffers injuries in a drunk driving crash may seek monetary damages from the social host or licensed premises (dram shop) that sold the alcohol. Precisely, the law states that the individual overserved the alcohol must be “visibly intoxicated” when they are served, or the bartender or premises should reasonably know the individual is a minor under the age of 21. Should either of these accounts be true, state law partially places some of the responsibility on the premises itself.
Dram Shop Accountability
As dram shops are considered partially liable under New Jersey law, any dram shop liability case must first establish that the premises or social host were irresponsible in overserving alcohol to the intoxicated person. Regardless of whether the person was underage, visibly drunk, or both, the dram shop should have used appropriate checks and stopped serving alcohol to that individual in question. The injured party may have considerable medical bills, lost wages, or other forms of pain and suffering as a result of a drunk driving accident. The dram shop may be held accountable for all damages that directly occurred as a result of the crash.
Who Is Liable Under Dram Shop Law?
Dram shop law generally holds the licensed premises responsible for all damages caused by an intoxicated individual who was overserved on their property. Dram shop regulations make the establishments – and in some cases, the owners themselves – responsible as a method to encourage bars, taverns, and other venue owners to adequately train their bartenders, servers and other employees to correctly recognize when a customer has become intoxicated and to cut off further alcohol sales to that person.
If You Believe Your Bar May Be Liable for an Accident, Call DeZao Law Today
Because of the unique circumstances of each dram shop premises liability claim, you should contact an experienced New Jersey attorney to discuss how best to defend your bar from a dram shop claim.
If a drunk driver hurts someone in an accident, they may be able to file a claim for compensation, not only from the drunk driver but also from whoever gave them more drinks than they should have. If you fear your bar might be subject to a dram shop lawsuit because someone was hurt by a drunk customer, seek expert legal help right away. Speak with a knowledgeable New Jersey personal injury attorney today at the Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A. Our firm provides dram shop law services and are here to help you with your unique case. Contact us today at (855) 432-2489 for a free consultation.