If you or a loved one is injured in a drunk driving accident in Connecticut, not only can you file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, but you may also sue an alcohol vendor or even a social host if they provide alcohol to the drunk driver.
Injury cases involving alcohol vendors, such as bars and restaurants, are called “dram shop” claims, while claims against a host at a private event are known as “social host liability” cases.
Dram Shop Law in Connecticut
According to the Connecticut dram shop law, an individual or business that is licensed to sell alcohol can be held liable if they sold alcohol to someone who appears to visibly and perceivably intoxicated at the time of the purchase.
For example, if an intoxicated patron at a bar slurs his works, has a hard time sitting on the stool, or cannot hold his properly, but a bartender continues to serve the patron anyway, the establishment can be held responsible for a drunk driving accident caused by the intoxicated patron.
However, the state law specifies that the vendor’s actions must “intentionally” or “recklessly” sell alcohol to the intoxicated person. This legal burden is greater than mere negligence.
Connecticut’s Social Host Liability Law
When it comes to social hosts at private gatherings, such as parties and other events hosted by a person, they cannot be held liable for a drunk driving accident caused by one of their intoxicated guests who are at least 21 years of age.
Yet, social hosts can be held liable for providing a minor or an adult who is not 21 or failing to reasonably prevent such individuals from gaining access to alcohol. Additionally, social hosts who violate this law will also be charged with a misdemeanor.
Caps on Dram Shop Law Cases
Connecticut caps or limits the total damages available in a dram shop case at $250,000 per accident – no matter how many people were involved in the accident. Common damages include medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Injured in a drunk driving accident in Hartford or within the surrounding area? Contact Zayas Law Firm today at (860) 278-0820 for a free case evaluation. You do not have to worry about paying any upfront fees!