Consuming too much alcohol always seems to make situations a little less clear. That includes defining who is to blame if some type of accident or incident occurs while the individual is under the influence of alcohol. Who is to blame when alcohol is a factor that results in a serious injury?
First, understand that laws vary from state to state and you will need to contact some experienced personal injury lawyers Charlottesville VA residents trust to discuss whether or not you may be entitled to any compensation because of your injury. The biggest factor that needs to be understood when deciding who or what entity is responsible is negligence. Sometimes the negligence is obvious, but that is not always the case. Here are some of the more common types of injuries connection with alcohol consumption.
Altercations in a Bar
Consuming too much alcohol in a bar often heightens emotions and when disagreements happen in a bar, the result can turn somewhat violent. Bystanders often suffer as a byproduct of someone else’s fight. Sometimes bouncers who work at the bar get over-zealous to what they perceive as a dangerous confrontation and use excessive force in breaking up an altercation, causing potentially unnecessary injuries.
Slipping and Falling at an Establishment Where Alcohol is Served
Drinking alcohol dulls your senses and impairs your reflexes and balance, making it more likely for you to stumble or fall where under sober conditions you would probably not have a problem. A slip and fall injury can occur if the establishment is not lit properly, has steps, the terrain of the floor changes from tile to carpet, or even walking through a wet spot on the floor as a result of someone’s spilled drink.
Consuming alcohol around pools or while a passenger in a boat, and adding the sun and heat to the mix can impair your balance causing you to fall and injure yourself of any object in or around the water.
Internal Injuries to Organs and Blood
As a result of consuming too much alcohol on a regular basis, you can develop several very serious conditions, among them cirrhosis of the liver, blood poisoning, epilepsy, blood capillary failure, and many different types of cancer.
Excessive drug and alcohol use is he number one common factor in domestic violence in the United States. It is far more common for men that are drunk or high to harm their family members or partners.
Those who drive while intoxicated or under the influence have a ninety percent higher chance of being involved in a car accident that results in serious injuries or death.
Liquor Liability Laws
These are called ‘dram shop’ laws and each state has their own definition concerning the liability bar owners have over patrons who consume too much alcohol. This also applies to private individuals who knowingly serve their guests too much alcohol while at a party in their home. Research your particular state to determine the extent of the server’s liability.
“Per Se” Negligence
Most of the time, in personal injury cases involving alcohol use the burden is on the the person who consumed the excessive alcohol to prove that the server knew or should have known that the person they were serving had already consumed too much alcohol and should not have continued to serve them. Proving this requires statements from witnesses, camera surveillance footage, receipts from the bar, etc. Even if this evidence is not present, if the injured person can illustrate that the state liquor liability laws were violated by the extent they were served alcohol, the server’s negligence becomes negligence per se.
If negligence per se can be proved, the burden of proof has been met and getting together further evidence is not necessary. This makes is extremely important to be aware of the liquor liability laws in your state and how this pertains to your particular case.
Thank you to our contributors at the MartinWren, P.C. for the insightful and important information above.