How Liability for Alcohol-Related Slips, Trips, and Falls Work
Alcohol is an extremely powerful substance that can effect judgment, coordination, and sight. Bars and restaurants know this, but they have all had patrons who were so drunk that they couldn't stand up straight. They know that when people are too inebriated, their motor skills become compromised to the point that they cannot walk properly, and may fall down, slip into the street where they could easily be run over, or slip and hit their heads.
Unfortunately, despite this knowledge, bars and restaurants have a financial interest in selling more alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated, because their primary objective is often making money, regardless of the potential consequences. In this article, dram shop attorney Michael Grossman discusses how negligent bars, who over-serve patrons, can be held liable for slip and fall accidents.
Questions answered on this page:
- Are bars or restaurants liable for alcohol-related slip and fall accidents?
- When can you sue a bar or restaurant for over-service of alcohol that led to a fall?
- How can a lawyer help me after an alcohol-related slip and fall?
Liability From Over-Serving Alcohol
Selling alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated opens bars and restaurants up to dram shop liability. The Dram Shop Act allows victims of alcohol and their families to recover financially from their losses when they or their loved ones hurt themselves after being over-served. Plaintiffs can receive compensation for things such as:
- Medical bills that resulted from the accident
- Lost wages
- In cases of death, families can recover lost income, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, survival damages, and funeral costs.
These cases are typically first-person dram shop claims, meaning that you or your loved one were the person who was over-served and are seeking damages. To successfully recover your losses, your dram shop lawyer will need to be able to convince a court that the bar was proportionally responsible for your injuries and the costs connected to them. This takes years of experience in the law and extensive familiarity with defense lawyers, insurance companies, and the courts. Further, it takes a lawyer who can identify a bar or restaurant that actually has the financial resources to fully compensate you, because it doesn't matter if you get a judgment if the liable parties can't pay it.
When you've been practicing dram shop law for 25 years, you run into just about every situation imaginable where someone is harmed after being over-served. Below, we'll talk about a few cases Grossman Law Offices has litigated in the past and how our attorneys overcame the specific challenges they presented:
- We had a client in Austin. After experiencing divorces, failed business ventures, and alienation from family, she turned to alcohol as a way to cope with her issues. After a night of drinking at a bar, she stumbled to her car with a blood-alcohol level that would have killed any healthy person. She fell head-first onto the hard pavement, which resulted in brain damage that left her with the intellect of a five year-old. We filed suit against the bar and were able to prove, through testimony from an expert neurophysiologist that she'd never be able to take care of herself again, and we secured a great deal of compensation from the bar to pay for her care.
- We represented a Dallas family in a case where their 23-year-old daughter slipped and died while intoxicated mere steps from the bar in which she was drinking. After our investigation, we learned that the bartender had actually given her an entire bottle of alcohol to drink by herself. An inexperienced drinker, she drank the entire thing in less than half an hour. When the alcohol truly hit her system, she said she "wanted some air." By the time she'd made it outside, she'd all but passed out. She died on the scene. We were likewise able to hold the bar accountable and obtain a large settlement for the family.
If someone you know was hurt or killed due to an alcohol-related fall, the dram shop attorneys at Grossman Law Offices can help.
We have represented those who have been injured and even killed in all manner of slips and falls because of alcohol, and we can help you and your family. Call Grossman Law Offices in Dallas, TX at (855) 326-0000 to learn what our experienced dram shop attorneys can do for you.
Related Articles for Further Reading:
- When Can Bars Be Liable for Alcohol Poisoning?
- Alcohol Providers Are Not Allowed to Encourage Employees to Break the Law
- How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?