Drunk driving accidents are some of the most common ways victims suffer devastating or life-threatening injuries. By filing a personal injury claim, accident victims and surviving family members can demand justice. However, many claimants are surprised to find it is not only the driver that hit them that could be at fault.
Michigan Dram shop laws make it possible for drunk driving accident victims to recover maximum compensation for their damages. When negligent and irresponsible dram shops contribute to impaired driving collisions, they need to be held accountable. Otherwise, the likelihood of a similar accident occurring in the future is high.
A compassionate and experienced Michigan car accident lawyer at White Law PLLC can help you navigate the claims process. If a reckless dram shop contributed to your injuries, our team will do everything possible to make them pay. Contact our office for a free consultation today to learn more about how Michigan Dram shop liability laws work and how your claim may be affected.
Does Michigan Have Dram Shop Liability Laws?
Michigan is one of many states across the U.S. that have dram shop liability laws in place. These laws make it possible to hold every party that contributes to a drunk or impaired driving accident accountable for their negligence. Here is more about Michigan dram shop laws:
What Are Dram Shops?
Any type of establishment that serves or sells alcohol is considered a dram shop. These are places of business that are meant to serve the community. Some examples of these businesses could include:
- Night clubs
- Liquor stores
- Convenient stores
- Grocery stores
Many drunk driving accident victims are unaware of Michigan’s dram shop liability laws. In fact, until you start working with a personal injury attorney, you might be ready to take action against the drunk driver alone. Fortunately, when you have a legal advocate on your side, anyone and everyone who shares blame for your injuries can be brought to justice.
How Dram Shop Claims Work
Dram shop claims work in the same way that personal injury claims do. Your drunk driving accident lawyer will investigate the accident and gather compelling evidence. If a dram shop oversold or served alcohol to someone who was already visibly intoxicated, we will be prepared to name them as defendants in your lawsuit or file a claim against their general liability insurance policy.
Statute of Limitations for Dram Shop Liability Claims in Michigan
Just like traditional personal injury claims, dram shop liability lawsuits also have a deadline. According to MCL §436.1801(4), injury victims will have a maximum of two years from the accident date to pursue a dram shop liability claim. If your lawsuit is not filed before this deadline, the court system refuses to hear your case, and you could miss out on compensation you would have been entitled to.
Your Fight Is Our Fight
You Can Also Hold Social Hosts Accountable
Michigan’s dram shop liability laws do not only apply to dram shops. You can also hold negligent social hosts accountable when they fail to uphold their legal obligations. However, you may not always be sure whether you have grounds for a social host liability claim.
Most often, social hosts are brought to justice when adults allow or encourage minors to consume alcohol on their property. Underage drinking is illegal in the state of Michigan. When adults allow minors to consume alcohol, and that minor goes on to cause a drunk driving accident, the social host in question can be named in your lawsuit.
Throughout the course of our investigation, we will determine whether social hosts or dram shops share the blame for your injuries. If they do, we will gather the evidence we need to prove their negligence and liability for your damages. This way, you can recover the compensation that is rightfully yours.
How to Recover the Compensation You Deserve in a Dram Shop Liability Lawsuit
There are multiple ways in which you can fight for justice in a dram shop liability accident. Many injury victims begin by filing a claim against the Dram Shop’s insurance provider. These establishments will typically carry liability coverage to protect them in such situations.
However, if dram shops or social hosts do not have valid insurance coverage in place, or they do not have enough insurance coverage to fully meet your needs, you may need to consider alternative options. You may be able to name the dram shop or social host in your personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver. When multiple parties share blame, they can also share the financial responsibility for covering your losses and ensuring you have the financial support you need when you need it most.
If your case goes to trial, you have a better chance of recovering compensation for every loss. You can avoid some of the limitations that come with filing an insurance claim and recoup your damages in full. This could be your opportunity to be compensated for your pain and suffering, lost wages, property damages, emotional distress, permanent disability, and even reduced quality of life.
We understand that you may be going through a difficult situation and we are ready to help however we can.
Get in Touch with a Michigan Dram Shop Liability Lawyer for Help Today
Dram shop liability laws in Michigan make it possible to ensure all parties that played a part in your drunk driving accident or held accountable. These establishments and professionals need to know there will be consequences if they over-serve or sell alcohol to someone who is already impaired. Gone are the days when restaurants, bars, and liquor stores prioritized their financial interests above the public.
If you suspect a local dram shop contributed to your accident, a dedicated Michigan car accident attorney at White Law PLLC could help you demand justice. Although you may still have grounds for a claim against the drunk driver, all parties that share liability for your injuries should be expected to compensate you for your losses.
Contact our office for a free, no-obligation consultation today to establish culpability, calculate the value of your damages, and move forward with your personal injury claim.
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