Dram Shop Liability – An Overview

Back of a barIn a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, researchers found that alcohol is a factor in about four out of every ten fatal accidents in the United States. Though the focus is often on the persons who drive while under the influence of alcohol, there are also laws, known as “dram shop” statutes, that can make bars, taverns, liquor stores and other establishments responsible when they serve people who subsequently cause accidents.

Dram Shop Laws

Dram shop laws originated in Victorian England, where the term “dram” was a measurement of alcohol sold. Dram shop laws have been widely applied, used against not only nightclubs and bars, but against sports venues, concert halls and other venues with a license to dispense alcohol. The dram shop laws were enacted to provide a disincentive for such establishments to serve alcohol to patrons who are either visibly drunk, or to serve alcohol in such quantities that would cause a person to become intoxicated.

Under the law, a bar, tavern, restaurant of similar place of business always has the right to refuse to serve alcohol to anyone. If the bar chooses, however, to sell or provide alcohol to a patron, reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that the patron is not already intoxicated, or that the amount of alcohol consumed by the patron would not cause that person to become intoxicated. If it can be shown that the bar knew or should have known that the customer was drunk, or that the customer had imbibed to a degree that would cause intoxication, the bar can be financially responsible for any injuries that person causes.

Contact Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli

If you, a family member or friend have been injured by someone who was drunk, contact Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli.

To set up a free initial consultation, call our office at (215) 458-2222 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged, if necessary. We will come to your home or the hospital for an appointment.

The Risk of Traumatic Brain Injury in a Fall or Motor Vehicle Accident

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)—The Risk in a Fall or Motor Vehicle Accident

Diagram of a human brainTBI, or traumatic brain injury, is a serious condition that can lead to temporary or even permanent loss of cognitive or motor skills. Though often associated with concussions, TBI can take many other forms:

  • The brain may slam against the skull in the event of a sudden jolt, stop or start, causing tearing, bruising, inflammation or swelling
  • A sudden twist or spinning motion can cause brain cells to tear or detach
  • The concussive impact of an explosion can lead to swelling or bruising
  • A sharp object may penetrate the skull and brain, or a blunt object may cause the skull to collapse, exposing the brain to injury
  • Bleeding in the brain can impede the flow of oxygen to the brain, causing permanent damage

The Most Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

According to the Mayo Clinic, TBI most typically results from:

  • Falls—The most frequent cause of traumatic brain injury is falling, often from ladders, but also from bed, down steps or on slippery or wet surfaces.
  • Motor vehicle accidents—The impact of a car crash often causes the brain to collide with the skull, causing swelling, bruises, bleeding and tearing. Additionally, many car accident victims strike their heads on windshields, steering wheels, dashboards, pavement and other vehicles.
  • Violence—About one in five reported incidences of TBI involves some form of violence, from a physical blow to a gunshot to the violent shaking of a small child.
  • Sports injuries—Recent research shows that certain high-impact sports, such as football, boxing and hockey, have high rates of TBI

Contact Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that has caused a traumatic brain injury please contact us. We can review your case and help with your legal needs.

To set up a free initial consultation, call our office at (215) 458-2222 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged, if necessary. We will come to your home or the hospital for an appointment.

Third-Party Work Claims

When you retain us to help you after a workplace injury, we will conduct a full investigation of what happened, looking to determine whether individuals or companies other than your employer or a co-worker contributed to or caused the accident. We’ll look specifically at:

  • Whether there was negligence in the design, manufacturing or marketing of a tool, machine or piece of equipment involved in your accident
  • Whether there was carelessness or a safety responsibility by any party unrelated to your employer, such as a vendor or subcontractor
  • If you were injured in a job-related automobile accident, whether the party at fault was unrelated to your employer

Wrongful Death

We will be at your side throughout the legal process, from the initial investigation of your case to the filing of a complaint, from the gathering of evidence to trial. Our lawyers will prepare and file all required documents throughout the process, and will be strong and compassionate advocates in all hearings and proceedings.
We will help you pursue damages for all your losses, including:

  • The loss of companionship or consortium
  • Loss of guidance and parenting, if appropriate
  • Loss of financial support
  • Any unreimbursed medical expenses or pain and suffering your loved one had as a result of the accident
  • All funeral and burial expenses

Liquor Liability

We provide comprehensive counsel to anyone who has suffered injury in an accident involving a drunk or intoxicated person. Our lawyers will fully investigate your case, carefully gathering and assessing all critical evidence. We will prepare and file all pleadings and other documents in a timely manner, and will be a strong voice for you in all hearings or proceedings, from deposition to settlement meetings to trial.

We handle all types of claims involving liability for serving or selling alcohol, including cases where:

  • A bartender, mixologist, waiter, waitress or other employee of a bar, tavern or restaurant serves alcohol to a person who is either underage, visibly intoxicated or engages in behavior that a reasonable person would interpret as being inebriated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Any employee of a bar, tavern or restaurant serves a quantity of alcohol to a person that would reasonably cause that person to become intoxicated
  • Any employee of a liquor store, package store or other vendor sells packaged alcohol to a  person who is underage, visibly drunk or whose behavior indicates that he or she is drunk
  • A  party host serves alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated, or allows a guest to consume a substantial amount of alcohol