It always seems that the number of reported Michigan drunk driving accidents rises every summer. This time of year is especially dangerous with the number of high school graduation parties, college graduation, summer barbeques, and outdoor partying in general. The liquor seems to flow freely and the inevitable result is an increase in the number of drunk driving car accidents and fatal Michigan car accidents.
When a drunk driver injures another in a car accident, the driver is clearly negligent and can be accountable for the injuries and damages caused in the accident. In some circumstances, the bar, liquor store, or restaurant that served the driver alcohol or beer can also be sued for civil damages. This is called a “Dram Shop” case. To win such a case, the evidence must show that the drunk driver was visibly intoxicated at the time of being served alcohol. This is often established by witness testimony and toxicologists who can look at a blood alcohol level, the physical characteristics of the intoxicated person, and other factors and then give an opinion as to essentially how the person would have acted at the time he was served the drink.
The establishment that served the drink will always argue that the person was not acting drunk and a jury will have to make that tough decision. It is important to hire a lawyer immediately after a Michigan car accident involving a drunk driver so that witnesses can be located to prove how the person was acting when served the alcohol. Statements regarding the person being clumsy, loud, stumbling, etc. can be used to prove the case.
A delay in hiring a lawyer often results in it being impossible later to identify and interview these witnesses, which then makes it impossible to win the case. There are also time deadlines to notify the bar of the claim, called the "Name and Retain Requirement." Anyone injured by a drunk driver should call me ASAP to start on their case or fill out our contact form.