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Understanding Florida’s “Dram Shop Law”

When an intoxicated minor gets into a car accident and injures another individual or themselves, people always ask, “Well, how did they get the alcohol?”

Or when a notorious drunk causes a devastating accident, people want to know who served his last drink, and why they did not think to say, “You’ve had enough.”

When alcohol is involved, people almost always want to blame a third party for the intoxicated individual’s accident. Well in Florida, they can.

Florida’s dram shop law allows an injured person to seek compensation from a third party—such as a bartender, liquor store owner, or social host—that provided the alcohol to the individual that caused the alcohol-related accident.

What Is the “Dram Shop Law”?

According to Florida Statute 768.125, any person who sells alcohol to an underage individual will be held liable for any accidents or injuries caused by that individual while in their intoxicated state. Furthermore, any person who knowingly sells alcohol to an individual with a known drinking problem may become liable for any accidents or injuries caused by that individual while in their intoxicated state.

However, unlike dram shop law in other states, Florida’s law does not mention anything about serving alcohol to an already intoxicated individual. With that in mind, a bartender, liquor store clerk, or social host cannot be held liable just for continuing to serve an over-served individual.

Damages Typically Awarded in a Dram Shop Case

The dram shop law is essentially the same as personal injury liability law, except that instead of suing the party that injured you directly, you would sue a third party individual for damages that are alcohol-related.

Damages you may recover in this type of case include:

  • Compensation for medical bills, including the cost of ambulatory care, emergency room care, surgery, hospitalization, medication, and rehabilitation;
  • Compensation for lost wages, including any wages and benefits that may have reasonably been earned had you not been injured;
  • Compensation for destroyed property, including damaged vehicles, fencing, a housing structure, and the like; and
  • Compensation for pain and suffering.

When to Contact an Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one was injured in an alcohol-related accident, you may be able to hold a third party accountable for any damages or losses accrued. To see if your injuries qualify for a Dram Shop case, contact the Orlando personal injury lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm at 1-888-LPENDAS to schedule your initial consultation today. We also serve clients in the West Palm Beach, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Myers areas.

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