Our Michigan drunk driving accident lawyers file lawsuits against intoxicated drivers (DUI & OUIL) and the businesses that served them alcohol before the accident. The injuries suffered in these accidents are often serious and even catastrophic. Many drunk driving accidents result in fatalities.
Michigan DUI Accident Lawsuits
The victim of a DUI accident has the right to sue the drunk driver and the owner of the vehicle for injuries and damages caused by the accident. In addition to these civil claims for compensation against, an injured victim (or family members of a deceased victim) may have a claim for damages against a retail liquor licensee that sold alcohol to a drunk driver. An example would be a bar that served alcohol to the drunk driver. These claims are brought under, and controlled by, the Michigan Dram Shop Law. In many circumstances, these claims result in significant additional compensation to the victim.
How to Pursue a Claim under the Dram Shop Law
In order to pursue a claim against a bar (or other retail liquor establishment) under the Dram Shop Law, the injured party must prove that the injury or death was caused by a retail licensee's unlawful selling, giving, or furnishing of alcohol to a "visibly intoxicated person" or a minor. Visible intoxication is intoxication "apparent to an ordinary observer." Furnishing intoxicants to a minor (a person younger than age 21) is per se unlawful and visible intoxication need not be shown.
Under Michigan case law, you must establish that the person was visibly intoxicated when served alcohol through eyewitness testimony. This requires identifying and locating other people who were present at the time and obtaining testimony from them on how the person looked and acted at the time. It is important to choose a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident so that an investigator is hired to locate all potential witnesses.
Time Limitations for Your DUI Accident Claim
There are shortened time limitations in which to bring a claim against a liquor licensee under the Dram Shop Act. First, there is a 120 day notice provision which requires the victim to send written notice to the licensee within 120 days of retaining an attorney. Second, a dram shop lawsuit must be filed in the proper trial court within 2 years after the injury or death. It is also necessary to name and retain the drunk driver in the lawsuit. This is another reason why it is so important to contact or law firm as soon as possible after the accident.
Contact a Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
For more information about your rights regarding Michigan DUI accident case, call our award winning lawyers no at (800) 606-1717 or simply submit the FREE CASE REVIEW form on this page and we will get back to you quickly.
We represent clients injured in Michigan DUI car accident, truck accident, bus accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, and pedestrian accidents. We charge no legal fees whatsoever until you receive your settlement and we pay all case costs and expenses. It literally costs you nothing to start on your case.