Drunk driving accidents can be tragic, and devastating to the surviving family members of any victims who may have been killed. While many may be quick to blame the drunk individual for the accident, and not following the well-known admonitions to designate a driver and not to drink and drive, sometimes, other parties may have had a hand in the causation.
That is what one family is claiming in its wrongful death suit against a bar and its president. In January of this year, the family's son was killed in a car accident after he participated in "Billy's Winter Beer Olympics" at the bar in question. The suit alleges that the defendant encouraged customers to binge drink. The victim began drinking around time starting time of the event, 11 a.m., and did not leave until after 6 p.m. At this time, he was visibly intoxicated, and no bar employee made attempts to prevent him from driving. He crashed his car shortly thereafter, and was thrown from the vehicle.
When someone has been killed because of the negligence of another, a wrongful death attorney may be able to help the surviving family members file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. The representative of the victim's estate must be able to show that the defendant failed to meet the required duty of care with respect to the victim. Damages in this kind of case are primarily monetary and are determined by looking at a number of factors relating to the victim at the time of the death.
In this type of situation, where a bar is involved, a state's dram shop laws may come into play. Each state's laws vary, but generally, these laws allow victims of drunk driving accidents to hold the bar that served the alcohol responsible for the death or injury caused by an intoxicated patron.
Source: www.post-gazette.com, "McCandless bar sued after patron's death," Mary Niederberger, July 1, 2013