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A drunk driving accident might offer unique liability issues

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver in New City, suing the negligent driver might be your first thought for compensation. Under New York law, you might also have a cause of action for damages against the person or establishment that sold the alcoholic beverages that caused the driver’s intoxication.

You should consult with a personal injury attorney for legal advice about your right to compensation if you have been injured in a car accident with a drunk driver. A review of the police report of the accident investigation might reveal liability on someone other than the driver under state law. 

Anyone who sells or helps another person to obtain liquor might be liable for paying compensation to a person who suffers a serious injury. The dram shop law imposes liability on someone provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • The person or establishment sold or helped procure alcohol for someone; and,
  • The alcohol contributed to the person’s existing state of intoxication; and
  • The intoxicated person’s condition was a factor in causing the death or injury of another individual.

The statute does not limit the imposition of liability to situations in which a seller of alcoholic beverages deals with someone who is already intoxicated. The law also makes reference to unlawfully assisting another person in obtaining the alcohol by which they become intoxicated. In other words, selling liquor to someone who is under the legal drinking age in New York could make the seller liable in the event the underage person causes serious injury in a car accident to others.

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