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Suing a bar after a drunk driving accident

Drunk driving remains a problem throughout Blount and Tennessee, threatening the lives of countless individuals every day. Those who fall victim to the negligence of an intoxicated driver can suffer significant damages, which can take many forms. An accident victim can, of course, suffer physical injuries that cause pain and suffering, but financial damages, like medical expenses and lost wages, can also take a huge toll. Families who lose a loved one to a drunk driving accident can face similar hardships with a magnified emotional loss. But, the question in the minds of many accident victims and their families is often, "who can I hold responsible?"

Many Tennesseans are aware that they can attempt to hold drunk drivers liable for their damages, but that may not be the only party that a drunk driving accident victim can sue. Under what are known as "dram shop" laws, an accident victim can seek to hold bars and alcohol retailers liable for damages suffered. In order to recover from a business, though, certain circumstances must exist that may be difficult to prove.

If the matter goes to trial, a plaintiff will need to show that the bar or business in fact sold alcohol to the drunk driver who caused the accident. This sale of alcohol must also be shown to have caused the driver's intoxication. In addition, it is often required that a driver show that the business knew or should have known that the negligent driver was intoxicated when selling further beverages.

These factors can be difficult to prove, but successfully doing so could increase a victim's ability to recover the full extent of his or her harm. Nonetheless, even if an individual is unable to prove the elements necessary to hold a retailer liable for damages suffered, he or she can still attempt to recover compensation from the driver who caused the accident. To learn more about whether they can invoke dram shop laws, injured Tennesseans should consider contacting their legal professional.

Source:, "Dram Shop Laws," accessed on April 15, 2016

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