Sometimes, it is difficult to determine liability for alcohol-related accidents. In most cases, if you have suffered an injury due to another’s intoxicated actions, you will be able to sue for compensation. But, some states also allow another possible outlet, dram shop law, for injured parties to seek compensation.
If you were recently injured by the fault of an intoxicated party, or you suspect as much, it’s time to reach out to the lawyers at Winstein, Kavensky, and Cunningham LLC. We serve the Quad Cities area, including Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline. And, we have extensive experience with dram shop claims. So don’t go it alone—reach out to us today to seek your maximum compensation. Reach us today by calling (309) 794-1515, using our LiveChat feature, or by filling out this online form.
What Is Dram Shop Law?
Before understanding dram shop law, you need to know what a dram shop is. “Dram shop” is a term for a commercial establishment that sells alcohol, like a bar, pub, or restaurant. Dram shop law holds these businesses accountable in certain scenarios.
One scenario that applies involves over-serving customers. For example, if someone drank too much at a River Bandits game, began to drive, and caused a car accident that resulted in injury, the vendor that served that guest might be liable for the injuries.
Dram shop laws can also hold businesses accountable for serving minors. In other words, bars and taverns can get in big trouble for either failing to check IDs of patrons or serving them whether or not they are above age 21.
Dram shop laws also include private hosts. This is referred to as social host liability, and it’s slightly different from dram shop laws. For instance, if you attend a party, the host is over serving his guests, and one of those guests causes a personal injury, the host can be held liable.
In the end, dram shop laws can seriously help to maximize the compensation awarded to the injured party. They allow you to sue the business or person that provided alcohol to the person who caused your accident. This can help you receive more financial relief, as you deal with recovering from your injuries.
Iowa Dram Shop Laws
Iowa’s Code 123.92 breaks down Iowa dram shop laws. This section indicates that vendors can be held liable for injuries if they served a “visibly intoxicated” person. However, Iowa does not allow social host liability. So, if someone from a social gathering caused your injury, you will not be able to sue the host.
What about other dram shop liability limits? In Iowa, the vendor involved must be notified of any claim within six months of the injury. Otherwise, as long as the vendor has been notified, you have two years to file the claim from the date of the injury. Also, to hold the vendor liable, it must have sold the drinks directly to the person who caused your injury. If anyone else gave them drinks, the vendor won’t be responsible. Finally, in Iowa, the intoxicated person is not able to file a dram shop claim against the vendor who served them.
Illinois Dram Shop Laws
Find Illinois dram shop laws in Section 6-21. Here, the law indicates that the vendor who sold alcohol can be held liable for the injury. They can also be held liable if the alcohol just contributed to the intoxicated party’s level of inebriation. As long as this intoxication caused the victim’s injuries in some way, the commercial vendor can be held liable.
As for social host liability in Illinois, a host aged 21 or above can be held liable if they serve minors and those minors cause injury. One major limitation to Illinois dram shop laws involves state lines. These rules apply as long as the accident occurs within the state of Illinois. Otherwise, rules only apply if the state in which the accident occurs has similar laws.
Work With a Quad Cities Dram Shop Attorney
With the Quad Cities located on the Illinois-Iowa border, it’s important to hire an attorney that understands dram shop laws across state lines. So, if you were injured by an intoxicated person, give Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham LLC a call at (309) 794-1515. You will be able to set up your free initial consultation. We’ve been representing the varied legal interests of our clients for over 50 years as a full service law firm. In addition, you won’t pay us any fees unless we obtain a financial recovery on your behalf. So, don’t wait—reach out to us to maximize your compensation today.
Robert Rosenstiel John Malvik Christine Keys Andrew Elias