Each year, hundreds of Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents are injured or killed in car accidents caused by a drunk driver. Just this past fall, a Pennsylvania man was sentenced after pleading guilty to killing 5 people in a drunk driving accident on I-81. Source: cbsnews.com, Pennsylvania man gets 18 to 36 years in wrong-way DUI crash that killed 5.
In the article below, provided by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey injury lawyers, we discuss legal info for victims who’ve been injured in a DUI accident. This includes drivers and passengers of other vehicles as well as passengers of the DUI vehicle.
Lawsuits Against Other Parties (Not Just the DUI Driver)
Under Pennsylvania and New Jersey law, parties other than the DUI driver may be held liable to accident victims, such as:
- bars or restaurants,
- other venues where alcohol was served, or
- private individuals.
Example 1 – Bar Liable for Violating Liquor Service Laws
A bar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is known for pouring heavy drinks. A group of friends heads out for a night of partying and drinking without a designated driver. They stay at the bar from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. The individual whose car everyone piled into gets drunk to the point where he is staggering around in the bar. Video footage from inside the bar shows him visibly drunk by midnight. Despite this, the bartenders continue serving him shots of whiskey until 2 a.m. The friends get into the car, and the driver causes a major car accident, killing himself and two of his friends. The sole survivor suffers catastrophic injuries.
Here, the bar would likely be liable for continuing to serve alcohol to the driver, despite the fact that he appeared drunk. Serving alcohol to someone who is already visibly intoxicated is a violation of Pennsylvania law. The families of the deceased individuals and the survivor would have legal rights to compensation from the company that owned the bar.
Example 2 – Private Individual Liable for Serving Alcohol to a Minor at a House Party
A New Jersey couple are hosting a house party for their friends and their teenage children. The hosts knowingly serve beer to the teenagers. One of them becomes drunk, leaves the party and drives into a tree. She suffers a massive brain injury and her passenger dies at the scene of the accident.
Here, the couple who hosted the party and knowingly served alcohol to teens would be liable. Serving alcohol to minors is a clear violation of New Jersey law.
For more info, visit our Alcohol Accident Liability Law Library. Contact our lawyers for a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss a potential DUI accident liability claim. (866) 641-0806 (PA) or Click To Call (NJ)
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