Ohio Dram Shop Lawyers | Kisling, Nestico & Redick
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Ohio dram shop laws make establishments & individuals liable for injuries if they served, sold, or gave alcohol to an intoxicated person. Let KNR explain if your case applies.

Ohio Dram Shop Laws

If you were injured because another person was intoxicated, call Kisling, Nestico & Redick. Under Ohio’s dram shop liability, an establishment or other individual may be liable for your injuries because they served, sold, or gave alcohol to the intoxicated person.

Not every drunk driving accident will apply, but to determine if you can file a dram shop claim against a restaurant, bar, club, or homeowner, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case and pursue maximum compensation. To talk with an experienced dram shop attorney, call 1-800-HURT-NOW or submit your information online to request a free consultation.

When Are Businesses Liable for an Intoxicated Customer’s Conduct?

Under certain circumstances, Ohio law allows you to file a civil lawsuit against a business or an individual host who serves alcohol to a person who then causes you harm in an alcohol-related accident. This often means a drunk driving accident. However, the law is not limited to DUI crashes. You should talk with a lawyer about the Ohio dram shop act if you were physically or sexually assaulted by an intoxicated individual.

Ohio’s dram shop law can be found in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 4399.18: Liability for Acts of Intoxicated Person.

The law states that generally, no one who is injured by an intoxicated person has a legal cause of action against any liquor permit holder or employee of a liquor permit holder who sold alcohol to the intoxicated person. In other words, there is no Ohio law that requires a business to prevent a drunk person from driving or leaving the bar and acting in some other harmful way. However, there are important exceptions to this rule.

Why Is it Called ‘Dram Shop Law?’

Many of our clients are curious as to why this law is known as a dram shop law or act. In the past, a dram shop was a bar, tavern, or other establishments that served alcoholic beverages. Modern laws have simply retained an older, unique name.

A Social Host’s Liability for an Intoxicated Guest

The Ohio Dram Shop Law discussed above applies to businesses that hold a liquor license. If the impaired individual who caused you harm was served by an individual at a private party, then an Ohio Dram Shop lawyer will conduct a different analysis.

Generally, a social host is not responsible for injuries their guests cause to someone else. However, if a social host provided alcohol to someone underage, and that individual caused you harm in a vehicle accident, you may be able to sue the host.

If you are injured in a crash by an underage drunk driver, call our Ohio Dram Shop lawyers right away. We will investigate the crash and determine where the underage driver was served. If they purchased alcohol at a business or were given alcohol by a friend or family member, then that establishment or social host also may be liable for your injuries.

Dram Shop: On-Premises Injuries

You may have a cause of action if:

  • Your injury or loved one’s death occurred on the liquor permit holder’s premises or in a parking lot controlled by the liquor permit holder or an employee of the permit holder; and
  • Your injuries or loved one’s death was proximately caused by the permit holder or its employee’s negligence.

Dram Shop: Off-Premises Injuries

Additionally, you can file a lawsuit against the liquor permit holder if:

  • Your injury or loved one’s death was directly and proximately caused by an intoxicated person’s negligent conduct;
  • Your injury or loved one’s death occurred off the permit holder’s premises; and
  • The permit holder or an employee knowingly sold an intoxicating beverage to a visibly intoxicated or underage individual.

Whether or not your circumstances fall into one of these exceptions can be confusing. We recommend speaking with our Ohio Dram Shop lawyers as soon as possible to determine if you can sue the business that sold the intoxicated person alcohol.

Dram Shop Liability Examples

Examples when a restaurant, bar, club, or other business may be liable for your injuries include:

  • On the business’s premises: You are enjoying a night out with friends at a neighborhood bar. You notice that a man has become intoxicated, loud, and aggressive. That man continues to be served alcohol and eventually starts a fight. You are pushed to the ground, and you strike your head on a table during the fall, causing a concussion. You may hold the bar owner liable for your injuries if you can show you were injured on the property and the bar was negligent for serving an intoxicated patron.
  • Off the business’s premises: Now, consider the fight does not take place, and instead, you say goodbye to your friends and begin to walk home. As you cross the street a few blocks away, the man from the bar blows through a stop sign and strikes you with his car. You can file a dram shop lawsuit against the bar if you can prove the bartender knowingly served the man when he was visibly intoxicated or knowing that the man was underage.

Never hesitate to call and speak to our dram shop attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick. We are here to listen to your circumstances and advise you of your legal rights. You may have a legal claim against only the intoxicated individual. However, if we find signs that the business providing the intoxicated person with alcohol was negligent, we may recommend filing a lawsuit under Ohio’s dram shop law.

Ohio Dram Shop Time Limits

As with other personal injury claims, a dram shop or drunk driving lawsuit must be filed in court under Ohio’s statute of limitations, which generally means within two years of the accident. But every situation is different, so it’s best to consult an attorney as soon as possible if you suspect a bar, restaurant, or another party overserved the driver involved.

Dram Shop: Compensation after a Drunk Driving Accident

When you are injured in a car crash because the other driver was impaired, the business or individual overserved them may be may be found liable for your various damages. Your lawyer can represent you in pursuit of compensation for all your physical, emotional, and financial losses. Through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, KNR will fight hard for you to recover your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium

Many dram shop cases settle out of court. However, do not expect a quick and easy insurance claims process. Insurance companies will work hard to reduce what they owe by denying their dram shop policyholder overserved the driver in question. While an insurance settlement might be the ideal situation, you may also need to file a lawsuit and present evidence the establishment knew the individual was impaired, continued to serve the, and allowed them to leave.

Were You Harmed by an Intoxicated Person?

If you were injured or lost a loved one due to a drunk driver or a violent assault by an intoxicated person, call Kisling, Nestico & Redick to discuss your options. Whether or not the impaired individual faces criminal charges, you may have the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Under certain circumstances, you also may be able to file a lawsuit against the business or person who served alcohol to the intoxicated person.

Let our dram shop attorneys listen to your story and analyze your legal rights. If you have the right to file a lawsuit against the intoxicated person and the alcohol provider, we will fight hard for you to receive compensation for your injuries.

You can contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW or use our online contact form to request a free, no-risk consultation.