Your Options When You Have Been Injured in a Wreck Caused by a Drunk Driver
According to statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately one of every three motor vehicle accidents across the United States involves a drunk driver. Under New Jersey law, if you have been hurt in a car wreck caused by an intoxicated driver, you may be able to bring legal action against the business or person who provided the alcohol, under New Jersey’s “dram shop” or “social host” liability laws.
What Is a Dram Shop Law?
So-called “dram shops” are commercial establishments that sell alcoholic beverages. Bars, taverns, restaurants and package stores that sell or serve beer, wine and liquor are generally covered under New Jersey’s dram shop laws.
What Is the Potential Dram Shop Liability in New Jersey?
Under New Jersey statutes, a party may be liable under dram shop laws under the following circumstances:
- He or she served or sold alcohol to a person who was visibly intoxicated at the time of sale or service, or to a person that the vendor knew or should reasonably have known was under the age of 21 at the time of sale or service
- The person to whom the alcohol was sold or served caused an accident while under the influence of the alcohol served
What Is Social Host Liability?
Social host liability potentially applies when a private individual serves alcohol to a person who subsequently causes an accident while under the influence of that alcohol. In New Jersey, to be liable under a legal theory of social host liability, the person serving the alcohol must have:
- Observed the person who caused the accident as visibly intoxicated, or
- Served the person who caused the accident under circumstances that created an unreasonable risk of harm to person or property
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after any type of personal injury, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.