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In Pennsylvania, there are many kinds of civil cases which involve liability related to serving alcohol. Under the law, any establishment which negligently serves alcohol is subject to liability if the person who is served then is injured or causes injury.

Such liability may extend to many different kinds of establishments. For instance, a bar or restaurant may face liability for negligently serving alcohol. However, other establishments which may bear such liability include:

  • hotels,
  • sporting events,
  • banquet/event halls,
  • outdoor events, such as festivals,
  • music venues,
  • concert halls, and
  • airlines/airplanes.

There are 4 scenarios in which a bar or restaurant, or other similar alcohol serving establishment may be liable in a Pennsylvania alcohol liability case:

1. An intoxicated patron drives a car, causing injury to another driver

This is the more common kind of situation. The driver would of course be liable. However, the establishment which negligently served alcohol to the driver may also be liable. Under Pennsylvania dram shop law, establishments which serve alcohol may not serve a visibly intoxicated person. When a bartender or server continues to serve alcohol to a patron who is already visibly intoxicated, the establishment may face liability if that patron then drives a car and causes an accident.

2. An intoxicated patron assaults another

In this situation, an intoxicated patron gets into a fight with another and causes injury. The bar or establishment which served alcohol may be liable, again, if the patron was continually served alcohol, despite appearing visibly intoxicated.

3. An intoxicated patron becomes injured in a foreseeable manner

Here, if patron is served alcohol despite being visibly intoxicated and later injures or kills themselves in an accident, they or their surviving family may have a viable claim against the establishment. A common scenario involves a patron who is so intoxicated that they cross an intersection and are hit by a car. Another scenario involves a patron who drowns after being served alcohol at a pool side bar.

4. A minor is served alcohol

If a minor is served alcohol, the establishment will almost always face liability when the minor injures him or herself or others in an accident.

For more information, contact a Pennsylvania alcohol accident lawyer.

Related Pennsylvania Alcohol Accident Articles:

Our attorneys serve accident victims in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; Kent County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Published: August 7, 2012