Can You Hold Social Hosts Liable for Drunk Driving Accidents in Louisiana?

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.


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