Florida’s laws on drunk driving are clear. Anyone who gets caught with a blood alcohol concentration that exceeds the legal limit or who demonstrates impaired skill at the wheel could get arrested for drinking and then driving.
Although everyone knows they shouldn’t drink and drive, many people still do, and some of those people cause car crashes. If you recently got hurt in a car crash caused by a drunk driver or lost a loved one in a drunk driving wreck, you likely want justice.
Unfortunately, even a conviction in criminal court won’t undo the harm caused by that irresponsible drunk driver. In theory, you can turn to their car insurance to reimburse you for some of your financial losses. You might even be able to file a civil lawsuit if they don’t have insurance or don’t carry enough coverage. What if a drunk driver is uninsured or in jail with no way to repay you?
There could be another party with legal liability
There are a handful of situations in which someone other than the drunk driver could be at least partially responsible for your family’s recent loss or your injury. If a drunk driver left a business after having too much to drink and caused a crash, the business might have some liability for the collision.
Florida has dram shop liability laws that hold businesses accountable for irresponsibly or illegally serving alcohol. If a bar or restaurant served a minor who then caused a crash, those affected by the crash could take action against the business. The same could be true if the bar or restaurant continued serving drinks to someone who was already visibly drunk.
Dram shop laws permit those coping with the fallout of a drunk driving crash to hold a business responsible for breaking alcohol laws.
Businesses will have more insurance and better resources
There are a few benefits to bringing a dram shop claim against a business that over-served a drunk driver or serve alcohol to a minor. The first is that it creates a penalty for that business and could push the owner or manager to change how they do business.
The second is that businesses will have resources that an individual drunk driver will not, including commercial insurance policies. Your family may stand a better chance of recovering lost wages and extensive hospital bills with a claim brought against a business rather than an individual.
Exploring all of your options after a drunk driving crash affects your family can help you secure justice.