You might think that going out to a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol is fun, but it’s actually a responsibility for everyone involved to drink safely and make good choices. In other states, when you drink and then make the reckless decision to drive, it’s only your fault. But in Mississippi, that’s not exactly the case.
When you’ve been injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, you might try to hold the driver solely at fault. But with the help of a Biloxi, MS dram shop lawyer, you can potentially hold the bar that served the drunk driver responsible for what happened as well. At Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law, we’re here to make sure that the right parties are held accountable for the injuries and other damages they’ve caused you.
Mississippi Dram Shop Laws
In Mississippi, drunk drivers aren’t always the only people at fault when they choose to drink and then get behind the wheel. Sometimes, the bar or restaurant can also be held responsible for the decisions made by drunk drivers. It’s important to note that this does not mean that the establishment that served the driver alcohol is always responsible. It is only in certain situations that they can be held partially accountable for what happened.
According to Mississippi Code, there is some third-party liability that applies to anywhere serving alcohol when one of their customers is involved in a drunk driving accident. This liability usually comes into play when the customer was visibly intoxicated and still served by the establishment.
Being visibly intoxicated isn’t exactly hard to spot for a restaurant or bar. They serve people all the time, so they have grown accustomed to recognizing when someone is too drunk to be served any more. When a patron is slurring their speech, stumbling, and smelling strongly of alcohol, then those are all signs that they are too intoxicated to be served any more alcohol. It doesn’t matter if they came into the bar like that or if they reached that point while at the bar. Once a person is too drunk, they should no longer be served.
When a person is visibly intoxicated at a bar and still being served, that is a liability issue. If they are still served, and then leave the establishment, the bar is still liable if they cause harm to another person because they willingly served them when they were already intoxicated.
If the intoxicated person chooses to get behind the wheel and causes an accident, then they are responsible for what happened, but so is the bar that overserved them. The victim who was injured and suffered from damages can then sue to hold both the drunk driver and the negligent bar accountable for what happened to them.
Social Host Liability
There is more to the dram shop law in Mississippi. If the person served is under 21, then there are additional consequences as a third party when they go on to cause a drunk driving accident. This comes into play in a small gathering. When a person hosts a small group of people at their house to drink, they are responsible to know that every person attending is over the age of 21.
Otherwise, they are knowingly serving a minor alcohol. When they serve that minor, and they become intoxicated, decide to drive drunk, and get into a wreck that injures other people, then the person who served the alcohol is a third party who is responsible for that accident.
Another part to social host liability has to do with serving people who are known alcoholics or people at the party who are visibly intoxicated. It is illegal to serve these people alcohol. However, there is not third-party liability if these people drink and drive and cause an accident.
These laws can be complicated, which is why you should have a Biloxi, MS dram shop lawyer on your side. With the help of a lawyer from Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law, you can feel confident in your claim and know that we have examined all aspects of what happened to you. We’ll consider all parties who could be liable, including any third parties.
We Can Help You Recover What You’re Owed
Just like any other case where you’re hurt and experienced damages from someone else’s negligence, after an accident where dram shop laws come into play, you will need a lawyer to help you prove liability. Once that’s proven, they’ll help you calculate exactly what you’re owed in damages so that you’re not forced into settling for less.
When you hire a Biloxi, MS dram shop lawyer, you’re taking on a civil case. This means that the damages you can recover are likely only economic and noneconomic. These are both the physical and abstract costs that you suffered from your accident, respectively. Your attorney will use your medical bills, repair costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and any other costs you faced as a direct result of the accident to determine what you’re owed in compensation.
You can trust that a lawyer from Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law has your best interests in mind, and won’t stop fighting until you get the justice that you deserve. You shouldn’t have to worry about the costs you suffered when another person was overserved. Reach out to our office today so we can discuss your potential claim.