What to do First When You’ve Been Injured in a Wreck With a Drunk Driver

You are driving home after work and you get into a wreck with a drunk driver. You’re injured because of the wreck but you don’t know what to do first.

You have no idea who to contact because you don’t know what your rights are at this point. You don’t realize that there is a statute in the state of North Carolina that can help you.

After getting out of the hospital, you decide to call on a lawyer to see what they say about your case. The lawyer tells you about the dram shop statute and you’re stunned in spite of yourself.

You had no idea that this statute was in effect and that it could help you win a lawsuit. You decide to take this lawyer’s advice and take the driver to court.

Because of the statute, you can also take the person who sold the drunk driver the alcohol to court as well. You would not have known that was possible without the lawyer’s expertise.

You’re happy that you now have a chance to pay the hospital bills that are mounting. You weren’t sure how you were going to pay the bills before you decided to take the people responsible to court.

The dram shop statute is not difficult to understand. Let’s take a deeper look into the statute and the effect it has on places that sell alcohol to patrons.


A dram shop is a statute in 38 states, including North Carolina. It holds a person responsible if they sell alcohol to an intoxicated person. The person who sold the alcohol is liable for bills of people injured by the intoxicated person. This could mean anything from physical injury all the way to death. This statute is in place for any business who sells alcohol to their customers. That could mean restaurants, liquor stores, bars, or even convenience stores.

Holding Bars Liable – to a Certain Extent

In most states, the law requires bars to keep an eye on all patrons of their establishment. This means that the bar employees have to make sure no one is over-drinking while in the building.

Most states say that bars are not liable for drunk people injuring themselves. Examples of this include falling off of a bar stool or driving into a tree while driving home drunk.

An example of the law holding the bar liable would be the person drinking and injuring someone else. The drunk person could get into a wreck and the bar would be responsible for selling the drinks.

Liability Insurance

Bars must have liability insurance by law because they are responsible for patrons. They must have liquor liability insurance and general liability insurance for employees.

Neither of these insurances will help you if you serve someone under-age, though. The state will hold you responsible for any damage or harm that comes from that incident.

The same thing goes for someone who may already be drunk when you serve them alcohol. The liability insurance will not cover the cost of damages
this drunk person causes.

Greenville, NC Personal Injury Attorneys

I’m Brian Ricci, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Greenville, NC. If you have suffered a personal injury, please call me anytime at (252) 777-2222 or 1-800-387-6406 for free, friendly advice. Let’s go over the details of your accident case over the phone and see how best to proceed. The call is free and there is no obligation to you. I am a longtime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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