When people think of injuries caused by a drunk or otherwise intoxicated person (under the influence of other substances), most people immediately think of intoxicated drivers. While this is certainly true, intoxicated individuals can cause damage(s) and injury even if they are not driving. And while that individual will certainly be considered negligent for their actions, other parties may be liable as well. Here is a brief look at liability for damages caused by intoxicated persons in Florida.
Intoxicated Drivers: Injuries and deaths caused by intoxicated drivers are frighteningly common. In 2013, statistics show that 10,076 people nationwide were killed by drunk a driver – which is approximately one death every 52 minutes!
An intoxicated driver who causes you injury or death will not only be held criminally liable, they can be liable to you and your family for the damages you sustain and you may even be entitled to punitive damages.
Negligent Bartenders & Servers: In some cases, individuals who serve alcohol to someone who becomes intoxicated and causes injury to other may be liable for the damages, as well. This is particularly true in Florida which has a statute on the subject (Section 768.125, Florida Statutes). Known as Florida’s Dram Shop Act, Section 768.125 holds the servers of alcohol liable for the damages caused by an intoxicated person in two situations.
First, if a server furnishes alcohol to a minor who then causes property damage or injury to another, the server (or employer of the server) may be liable for the damages committed by the intoxicated minor.
Second, if a server furnishes alcohol to an individual who the server knows is habitually addicted to the use of alcohol, then the server (or employer of the server) may be liable for the damages caused by the intoxicated person.
Bartenders and servers have an obligation to serve alcohol responsibly, which begins with ascertaining whether a patron is of legal drinking age and ends with ensuring a drinker is not inebriated and capable of getting home safely. While it is generally easy to verify someone’s age, it is not always easy—in fact, usually difficult—to prove that a server knew an individual was habitually addicted to alcohol.
If you have been injured due to the actions of a drunk or intoxicated person, you need a personal injury attorney to review your case and determine which parties may be at fault. Board Certified Personal Injury attorney Bryan Caulfield has decades of experience representing those injured in all sorts of personal injury cases. Bryan Caulfield will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call Bryan Caulfield today for a free consultation at (727) 796-8282.