Is the Bar to Blame?

Dram Shop Liability Explained

Picture this: A man walks into a bar.

No, this isn’t the start of a joke. In fact, there’s nothing funny about this story’s end.

Fast forward a few hours. The patron, now stumbling and sloppy, leaves the bar, clutching his keys. He gets behind the wheel and attempts to drive home. In the best case scenario, blue lights are flashing before the driver exits the parking lot. Worst case scenario? The drunk driver’s poor decision results in an accident, potentially ending lives – and changing his forever.

It’s obvious that the drunk driver is to blame. But what about the bartender who kept pouring long after he had reached his limit? What about the bar that provided the alcohol?

Many states have dram shop liability statutes that allow drunk driving accident victims to seek compensation from dram shops (establishments that serve alcohol) and employees who overserve drivers. Our state is not one of them.

While South Carolina doesn’t have this particular statute, West Law Firm utilizes other alcohol-related statutes to hold bars, restaurants, taverns, etc. accountable. This can greatly impact a case’s value – and more importantly, a client’s future.

Here’s why: Insured drivers’ minimum coverage is often less than the compensation needed, but here in South Carolina, establishments with alcohol licenses must have liability insurance with coverage of at least $1,000,000.

This requirement puts more funds on the table, making it possible for an experienced attorney to pursue the benefits an accident victim truly deserves. Benefits to pay their medical bills, to fix or replace their vehicle, to get their life back on track.

If you or a loved one were injured in a drunk driving accident in Berkeley County, SC, the absence of a dram shop liability statute doesn’t mean it’s impossible to pursue a dram shop claim – with the right legal team on your side.

To schedule your free initial consultation, contact West Law Firm at 843-761-5626 or click here.

About West Law Firm, P.A.

Founded by H. Norman West in 1945, West Law Firm has served the Lowcountry for nearly 75 years.  Practice areas include personal injury, car wrecks, criminal defense, DUI defense, family law, wrongful death, land disputes, business litigation, probate and estate planning, and alternative dispute resolution.

West Law Firm, P.A.
207 Carolina Avenue
Moncks Corner SC 29461


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