Bars, clubs, and restaurants can be excellent places to enjoy alcoholic beverages responsibly, but there are some people who simply do not know when to say when. With their judgment dulled by excessive drinking, these individuals may lash out violently against those around them. If you have been the victim of this type of attack, you may be wondering if you can recover financial compensation for your injuries. The answer? You might. In Illinois, you can potentially sue a bar for overserving alcohol to the person who attacked you through a Dram Shop Case.
Illinois Dram Shop Act
Bartenders and waiters are supposed to “cut off” patrons who show signs of intoxication, but many of them fail to do so, sometimes with unfortunate results. To discourage irresponsible behavior from these businesses, Illinois passed what is commonly known as the “Dram Shop Act.”
Under the Illinois Dram Shop Act, someone who has been injured by an intoxicated person can hold the establishment who overserved him or her financially responsible and liable for any damages. To pursue a valid Dram Shop claim against this establishment, however, the following conditions must be demonstrated:
- The vendor sold alcohol to the party who inflicted injury;
- The alcohol that the vendor sold to that party either materially contributed to or caused that party’s intoxication; and
- The intoxication that resulted from that party being sold alcohol by that vendor was the “proximate cause” of the injuries inflicted on the victim.
The Dram Shop Act is typically applied in cases involving drunk driving accidents, but the Act may also be invoked to sue a bar for overserving a person alcohol who then went on to physically attack someone.
But successfully resolving a Dram Shop case is still not an easy feat. It demands the proper identification of all parties responsible for the incident and the careful gathering of evidence. Moreover, an injured party has a limited amount of time specified by law in which to sue a bar for overserving alcohol or otherwise resolve a Dram Shop claim. This is known as the Statute of Limitations, and it is one year for a Dram Shop case in Illinois. Failure to resolve a Dram Shop case or file a lawsuit within that one-year time limit will likely result in a victim being forever prevented from doing so.
With that in mind, here are some of the important steps that you need to take in order to sue a bar for overserving your attacker or otherwise pursuing a successful Dram Shop case:
- Identify your attacker.
- Collect statements from and contact information from witnesses.
- Obtain video footage, if there is any.
- Take pictures of any bruises or visible injuries.
- Seek treatment for your injuries as soon as possible.
How Can I Ensure a Positive Outcome If I Sue a Bar for Overserving?
Achieving a positive outcome in any Dram Shop case requires knowledge of the law, dedication, hard work, familiarity with the arguments commonly made by defense attorneys and insurance companies, and the expertise to counter them.
If you wish to sue a bar for overserving alcohol to your attacker, you might have a better chance of overcoming such potentially daunting obstacles with help from the Chicago Dram Shop attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers.
GWC is Illinois’ largest Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firm, with over $2 billion recovered for our clients and a history of success with Dram Shop cases. Please call 24/7 at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative to schedule a free, zero-obligation consultation with one of GWC’s attorneys.