The day another vehicle hit you may have started out like any other day. Perhaps, you went to work then arranged to meet some friends for dinner at your favorite local restaurant. Any number of factors can contribute to a collision. Distracted drivers are often responsible for many collisions resulting in fatalities or severe injuries. People who get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol are also often the direct causes of Florida collisions.
Did a drunk driver hit you? If so, the collision may spark a series of events that might include criminal charges against the driver that hit you. State law allows recovering accident victims to seek restitution for damages. Florida dram shop laws are also in place, which hold bar or restaurant owners responsible for the consequences of serving patrons who were obviously intoxicated at the time.
More on Florida dram shop laws
You may have seen it happen in the past. You’re sitting in a bar and there’s a customer who is showing signs of intoxication; however, the bartender keeps serving him or her. Dram shop laws are in place to hold bartenders accountable for their actions if a customer leaves the establishment, drives a car, wrecks and causes injury to another person.
The same laws apply in cases where bartenders or shop owners have served alcohol to minors. Not only can you, as a person who suffered injury because of a drunk driver, seek accountability against a bartender but also wait staff or an establishment owner in certain circumstances.
What about the drunk driver?
If a Florida motorist operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level of .08, he or she may face drunk driving charges. If the driver’s actions caused you to suffer injury in a collision, you can seek financial recovery for your losses.
Regarding dram shop laws, that driver may also be able to file a lawsuit against the establishment owner or bartender who continued to serve him or her alcohol when there were visible signs of intoxication.
Proper training can help prevent tragedies
If you own a business that serves alcohol or if you work at a bar or restaurant that does, there are several things you can do to avoid serving alcohol to intoxicated people. Learning to recognize signs of intoxication is a logical first step to take. People who are intoxicated often slur their speech, walk with an unsteady gait, or exhibit obnoxious or emotionally unstable behavior.
Employers should train their employees to carefully monitor patrons for signs of intoxication and instruct them to refuse service of alcohol to anyone who fits the description. If a drunk driver hits you because an employer did not fulfill this obligation, state law provides recourse for you to seek justice.