DUI Accidents: Can I Sue a Miami Bar?

DUIs are serious offenses in the US, including Florida, especially when they lead to DUI accidents. When the police arrest the drunk driver, they face stiff penalties upon conviction. DUIs often result in severe accidents too. These collisions can then cause significant injuries or death. Fortunately, a Miami car accident lawyer can help you proceed against the at-fault party.

The police are often only concerned about punishing the at-fault driver. That’s why you need a car accident lawyer to help you recover your financial losses. Another issue would be how many parties are liable for a Miami DUI crash. Suppose you have an excellent attorney; they can help you identify such parties. Then, you can file the necessary claims.

Can I Sue a Miami Bar After a DUI Crash?

Yes, you can have a case against the bar that sold the at-fault driver the alcoholic drink. So, the drunk driver isn’t the only possible liable party. This legal possibility is ordinarily not possible. However, Florida’s dram shop law gives you the right to sue an erring Miami bar.

What Are Dram Shop Laws?

Dram shop laws are statutes that impose liability on alcohol vendors for the actions of their intoxicated customers, such as causing DUI accidents. Therefore, an accident victim can file a claim against such a vendor. Essentially, this is a third-party liability claim.

Dram shop laws don’t just apply to bars. Instead, you can sue almost any establishment serving alcohol. This includes:

  • Restaurants
  • Nightclubs
  • Taverns

Notably, grocery and liquor stores sell sealed alcohol. Furthermore, such drinks aren’t for immediate consumption. You may thus be unable to successfully file a lawsuit against these establishments for DUI accidents. Over 40 American states have adopted dram shop laws. Fortunately, Florida is one of these states.

Dram Shop Liability in Miami, Florida

Florida’s dram shop liability applies only in limited instances. One example is where the alcohol establishment sells alcoholic beverages to minors. In addition, the establishment could be liable where they sell drinks to a “habitually addicted” person. In both cases, the beverages must have been sold “willfully and unlawfully.”

Once these conditions are fulfilled, the establishment will be liable for any damage caused by the minor or “habitually addicted” person. Unfortunately, Florida’s dram shop law doesn’t just apply because the establishment served an already drunk person. Instead, this intoxicated individual must be a habitual drunk.

What If It’s a Party Host?

Social hosts often serve visitors heavy quantities of alcohol. This free flow of drinks happens even when the hosts know their visitor still has to drive. Therefore, many dram shop laws extend liability to these party hosts. Sadly, you cannot sue these reckless social hosts in Miami, Florida.

It doesn’t even matter that they served the alcohol to a habitually addicted party guest. Instead, such hosts can only share liability where they serve minors alcohol. The law then punishes them accordingly.

How Long Do You Have to Exploit Florida’s Dram Shop Law?

Like other civil claims, you don’t have forever to sue an alcohol establishment. Instead, Florida’s statute of limitations dictates strict time limits. The law only gives you four years to institute an action. Your time starts counting from the accident date. So, suppose you miss this statutory deadline. Then, you may also lose your right to compensation.

Recoverable Damages in a Dram Shop Claim

A successful dram shop law claimant can recover a wide range of damages. These would be the typical compensation available in normal car accident claims. So, they’ll include:

  • Medical bills, including hospitalization and ambulance costs
  • Cost of medical equipment and physical therapy
  • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Cost of damaged, lost, or destroyed property

Finally, it’s not unusual for Miami DUI accidents to result in fatalities. The deceased’s estate can sue the negligent alcoholic establishment where this happens. They can recover the same damages above. In addition, they can get funeral and burial costs from the establishment.

Miami Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You Sue a Bar!

Have you escaped a Miami DUI accident? If you have, then you may be eligible for financial compensation. But first,  you’ll need the best Miami car accident attorneys. At Miami Lawyers 360, we will help you assess the case to determine if you can file a lawsuit.

In addition, we will identify where the at-fault driver purchased their alcohol from and whether the establishment falls within Florida’s narrow dram shop rule. We can guarantee the best results with our expertise and excellent track record. So, call us today to schedule a FREE initial consultation.

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