If you have been in a car accident, it is important to have a car accident attorney advise you as to who may be liable for the injuries you have sustained and the damage to your property. Often people who have been injured in a car accident think only of the person behind the wheel and the insurance company. While these are good places to start, a good attorney can look beyond the immediate liability at who else might be liable. As a victim, you want to make sure that you explore all avenues to get your bills paid for and to get the proper compensation for any injuries you may have sustained.
Many states have enacted laws that are known as social host liability laws. Basically, these laws state that any host which has provided alcohol to a minor, resulting in a car accident and injury, is responsible for any injuries or damage to property. Some states have a much broader scope when it comes to social host liability than just providing alcohol to minors. They hold a host liable if they encouraged someone to drink excessively, regardless of age, to the point where they caused damage to someone's person or property. To be liable under social host laws, the host must have recognized that the guest was intoxicated and that serving them more alcohol would be a bad idea.
A car accident attorney can also look into dram shop laws, which are the overarching concept over social host liability. Dram shop laws fundamentally hold bars and alcohol retailers liable for injuries, deaths, or property damage caused by severely intoxicated patrons. Not allowing a patron to drink heavily and drive if they are obviously intoxicated has led states to enact these laws. For a victim of a car accident exploring the potential of recouping a settlement for your injuries using dram shop laws could be important, and is definitely worth having a conversation with your attorney about.
Understanding that more people are responsible for an intoxicated driver than just the driver themselves, is important. Your car accident attorney will leave no stone unturned and has the advantage of knowing the law, in finding out what other parties led to your injuries and the damage to your property. When people serve alcohol, whether to minors or obviously intoxicated guests, they put the guest and others at risk. This includes other drivers and when you have become a victim of this kind of carelessness it is important to have a knowledgeable car accident attorney in your corner that can understand all the laws and explore all of the avenues to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
There is also another side to these laws and since no one wants to be sued in a personal injury lawsuit, as a host it is always a good idea to be cognizant of the amount of alcohol a guest is consuming and it is never a good idea to serve a minor. These are simple common sense ideas that can prevent you from facing legal problems as a result of one of your guests getting into an accident. For more information call a car accident attorney.