If A Drunk Driver Causes A Personal Injury In Buffalo, Can You Sue The Person Who Provided Alcohol?

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on September 18, 2014

in Buffalo Car Accidents

As experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyers, we have seen many cases where a drunk driver causes devastating personal injuries in a car accident. Unfortunately, the drunk driver in these cases rarely has sufficient insurance or other assets to fully reimburse the injured person for his or her damages.

While the person who provided the driver with alcohol may bear some of the responsibility for the driver’s condition, the law limits the circumstances under which an alcohol provider may be sued when a drunk driver causes personal injury.

Private individuals who provide alcohol usually may not be sued if the intoxicated person then drives and causes an accident. As a result, when a drunk driver was served at, for example, a private get together at someone’s residence, the provider can rarely be sued.

There is an exception to this general rule when the drunk driver was a minor and a private individual provided or made available alcohol to that minor. Under such circumstances, the provider may be sued even if he or she is a private individual.

When alcohol was provided by a commercial business such as a bar or restaurant, New York law does allow an injured person to recover damages from that business. To do so, however, the injured person must be able to prove that the business continued serving alcohol to the drunk driver even though the drunk driver was visibly intoxicated. As a result, it may be necessary to speak with eyewitnesses who observed the condition of the drunk driver before leaving the business where he or she was served.

If you have been injured in a car accident, we will explore all possible sources of compensation for your injuries. Call us at 716-631-9999 for legal help.

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