Dram Shop Liability in North Carolina
Pursuing All Available Avenues for Compensation after a Drunk Driving Accident
If you were hit by a drunk driver or if your loved one was killed by someone driving while intoxicated, it may seem obvious that the drunk driver is liable. Though this may be the case, the drunk driver may not be the only liable party.
Under North Carolina’s dram shop liability law, an establishment that serves alcohol—such as a restaurant, bar, or similar business—may be liable if it is proven that the drunk driver in question was over-served. In order to prove the drunk driver was over-served, you will need to show that the establishment could clearly see that the individual was intoxicated (or was a minor), yet continued to serve him/her alcohol.
At Lanier Law Group, we stand up for anyone who is injured by a drunk driver. Our legal team can investigate your case, gather all applicable medical records and evidence, and assist you in filing a dram shop claim against the bar or restaurant that supplied alcohol to the driver who caused your damages.
What Is a Dram Shop Claim?
If you suffer any type of damages—from bodily injury to property damage to the loss of a loved one—because of a drunk driver, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the bar or restaurant that served alcohol to the driver. Our North Carolina dram shop liability lawyers are experienced in handling these types of complex claims. We never back down from tough fights and we are well-equipped to handle the challenges involved in your case.
For your dram shop claim to be successful, you must prove that:
- A bar, restaurant, tavern, or other merchant served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated individual or a minor
- As a result of being over-served alcohol, the individual became impaired
- The impaired individual operated a motor vehicle
- The impaired driver caused you harm
Proving these elements requires an in-depth understanding of the law and how it applies to your case. At Lanier Law Group, we recommend that you work with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney to better your chances of a favorable outcome.
Compensation in Dram Shop Liability Claims
Just like in other types of car accident and drunk driving claims, you are entitled to seek compensation for your damages in dram shop liability cases. In many instances, it can be difficult to actually collect the compensation you are due from an impaired driver. This may be because the drunk driver’s insurance policy limit is not high enough, and/or because he or she does not have the necessary assets to afford your rightful settlement or verdict. Taking action against a liable establishment may allow you to collect the compensation you need and are owed for your damages.
Depending on the exact nature of your case, as well as the various circumstances involved, you may be able to seek compensation for the following damages:
- Initial emergency medical transport
- Medical treatment, including ongoing care
- Lost income and/or wages
- Lost or reduced earning capacity (disability)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage (if, for example, your vehicle was damaged)
Additionally, if your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, you may be able to pursue wrongful death litigation for which you may seek compensation for things like funeral expenses, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and more.
Statute of Limitations for Dram Shop Claims in North Carolina
The statute of limitations, or time you have to file a claim, for dram shop liability claims in North Carolina is one year from the date of the accident/injury. Because of this, our attorneys work quickly to file your claim as soon as possible.
Request a Free Consultation with Our Respected Personal Injury Firm
After a devastating drunk driving accident, Lanier Law Group is here to fight for your right to compensation. We have 11 offices located throughout North Carolina in Burlington, Durham, Greensboro, Asheville, Greenville, Charlotte, Wilmington, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, and Jamestown. We offer legal services in English and Spanish and provide all our services on a contingency fee basis—you owe us nothing unless you obtain a settlement.