When an intoxicated person causes an accident or an injury to another person, they can be held liable for any damages that result per Colorado's personal injury laws. In addition to the intoxicated person, though, there are some situations where a third-party alcohol vendor/furbisher may be held liable too. Here's a look into dram shop and social host liability laws in Colorado and what to do if you think that you may have a case.
Dram Shop Laws in CO
Dram shop laws refer to laws that hold alcohol-serving establishments liable for injuries that are the result of a patron to the establishment being over-served. While a bar or restaurant will not be held liable if they merely provided a drink to a person, and then that person caused an injury to someone else, they may be held liable if it can be proved that:
- The individual was visibly intoxicated at the time they were served; or
- The individual was under the age of 21 years.
Social Host Liability - What's That?
Social host liability laws are different. These laws refer to laws that hold private citizens liable for furnishing alcohol to others. For example, if Jane has a house party and invites over Jack and Jill, and Jill ends up having one too many, gets in a car accident, and causes an injury to Tom, Jane is the social host whose liability is in question.
In Colorado, no social host can be held liable for damages resulting from serving alcohol to any person except when the served person is under 21 years of age. This means that in the situation above, Jane would not be held liable unless Jill was 20 or younger.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have a Social Host or Dram Shop Liability Case?
If you have been harmed by a person who was intoxicated, the first thing that you should do is hire a lawyer. Your attorney can help you to determine where the individual's intoxication occurred and whether or not you may have a dram shop or social host liability case. Because an establishment can only be held liable if they furnished the alcohol to an individual under the legal drinking age or to someone who was visibly intoxicated, however, these cases can be hard to prove.
At the law offices of Anderson Hemmat LLC, our experienced Colorado dram shop attorneys will manage all elements of your case, including collecting any evidence that exists that is relevant to your case. We can also aid you in identifying any other potentially liable parties.
It is important to note that with dram shop liability cases, the statute of limitations for bringing forth such a case is one year from the date that the alcohol was sold or furnished. There is also a limit on the amount of damages that you can recover.
Call Our Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Intoxicated persons are often the cause of serious injuries, including those caused by drunk driving accidents. If you have been injured in an accident that would not have occurred but for the negligent actions of an intoxicated person, you deserve to work with a competent legal professional who can aid you in recovering the maximum amount of compensation available to you.
To schedule a free consultation with our law offices, please call us today at 303-782-9999 or send us a message by filling out the free case evaluation form.