While many states have what is known as a dram shop or social host liability
law, which allows an injured party to hold a vendor or social host liable
for providing alcohol to an intoxicated person who subsequently has an
accident, Louisiana is not among them. However, there are two circumstances
in which third party liability might exist for alcohol-related accidents.
Exceptions to the Rule
In Louisiana, a person who was injured by an intoxicated individual cannot
hold the alcohol vendor or social host liable for damages, even if the
person was clearly intoxicated or under the legal drinking age. For example,
if Jane walks into a bar for a drink and afterwards, gets into her car
and crashes into Gina at a crosswalk, injuring her, Gina cannot hold the
bar liable for overserving Jane. Gina’s only legal recourse will
be to file a personal liability claim against Jane.
If Jane bumped into Gina in the bar after drinking too much, and Gina was
injured due to unsafe conditions, such as a broken stool, she could bring
a premises liability claim against the bar to court. This would also apply
to a social host.
The two rare exceptions in which an injured party can sue an alcohol vendor
or social host occur when:
- An individual was intoxicated by force
- A vendor or social host misrepresented an alcoholic beverage as non-alcoholic,
leading to intoxication
Damages for Personal Injury Cases
If either of the above exceptions occur, the injured party would be able
to sue for damages, which would include:
- Medical bills associated with the injury
- Lost wages or loss of work
- Cost of future or ongoing medical care associated with the injury
- Value of any damaged or destroyed property
- Pain and suffering
It is also important to be aware of the state’s statute of limitations.
In Louisiana, an injured person must file a personal injury lawsuit within
a year of the date of injury. If he or she fails to do so, the court will
refuse to hear the case and the chance at compensation will be lost.
New Orleans Car Accident Attorneys
Drunk driving accidents are some of the most fatal accidents that occur
on the road. Even when they do not result in loss of life, many of these
incidents lead to life-altering injuries that impact not only the injured
person, but his or her family as well. The New Orleans
car accident attorneys at the Womac Law Firm are here to fight for your rights and
help you seek compensation if you sustained injuries in a drunk driving
accident. Our skilled attorneys have tackled numerous car accident cases,
including those caused by distracted drivers, speeding, drunk drivers,
and dangerous road conditions
We operate on a contingency fee basis, so if we do not win your case, you
will not owe us any legal fees.
Contact us today at (504) 470-3935 for a free consultation.