Pre-Settlement Funding on Dram Shop Lawsuits
“Dram shop’ is a phrase that fell out of popular usage a long time ago. Basically, a Dram shop is any place that legally sells alcohol. This means a bar, a restaurant, bowling alleys, stadiums, taverns or any other facility that can cell it’s patrons alcohol.
The purpose of these laws are to place some liability on the alcohol seller. There is some legal ambiguity in regards to whether or not a court would allow an individual to file against a place that sells alcohol. This is because the seller does not necessarily have to monitor how much each patron drinks.
Dram shop lawsuits typically follow after a car accident that was caused by a drunk driver. The accident victim can then purse both the establishment and the drunk driver as apart of their personal injury claim. Like most personal injury claims, Dram shop cases can take a long time to settle.
If your personal injury case is taking too long to settle, consider legal funding with Uplift. Dram shop pre-settlement funding will allow you to stay on your case as long as you need to, to seek proper compensation.
Types of Dram shop cases
A Dram shop case is when you sue an establishment that sells alcohol. Liability for these cases generally states that the establishment sold too much alcohol to the injured party. There are two types of Dram shop cases.
The two different types are referred to as ‘First party’ and ‘Third party’ cases. While a fair number of states allow third party Dram shop cases, most states do not accept first party cases.
First party Dram shop cases
A first party Dram shop case is when an intoxicated person was harmed and is attempting to sue the bar for giving them too much alcohol. This is generally not accepted by most states with the general idea being that as an adult you should be able to monitor how much alcohol you have.
These forms of cases may be accepted if a minor is the one in question. This is because minors should not be allowed to drink alcohol while at establishments whatsoever. Therefore the law was broken especially since the child was harmed due to alcohol.
Dram shop laws usually specify whether or not a minor can follow suit for a first party Dram shop claim. But generally, Dram shop laws do not allow for adults to pursue first party Dram shop claims.
Third party Dram Shop cases
A third party Dram shop case when an drunk person harms another individual. The injured person can pursue the bar or other alcohol selling establishment for their injuries.
While there is a higher likelihood that a state will accept a third party Dram shop case, the liability standards differ depending on the state that you live in.
Similarly to how there are specifications on whether or not a minor is involved, how intoxicated the individual is plays apart in these Dram shop laws.
Issues with Dram shop lawsuits
There are several liability issues that are the result of Dram shop lawsuits. In order to move forward with the lawsuit, the following Dram shop case issues would have to be resolved:
- Visible – was the person visibility intoxicated
- Drinks – how many drinks did the person consume at the establishment, and would it be enough to make them intoxicated
- Where – did the person who caused injuries only drink alcohol at the establishment
- Fault – was the intoxicated person the one who is at fault for the accident
The plaintiff already has the burden of proof, but in addition to that they have to prove each of these claims about the defendant. This can typically cause issues with Dram shop lawsuits if they are able to make it to court.
States with Dram shop laws
Every state recognizes Dram shop liability differently. Some states do not place liability on Dram shops whatsoever.
In 35 states there are laws against selling an individual alcohol illegally. This essentially means selling alcohol to either minors or people who are visibly drunk. Of those 35 states, three have slightly different liability standards as listed below:
- Florida – according to Florida law you can only pursue a lawsuit if the individual that hurt you is a ‘habitual drinker’ as opposed to a clearly intoxicated person.
- Mississippi – as stated in Mississippi law minors also have to be visibly drunk in order to pursue compensation
- Missouri – In Missouri, only Dram shops that sell alcohol on the premises can be sued, such as bars and restaurants. Liquor stores are not held accountable.
Not every state holds Dram shops liable if they sell alcohol to individuals who are clearly intoxicated. Some states only hold Dram shops accountable if they sold alcohol to minors. These are known as split difference states. Below we have listed the four split difference states.
California is a split difference state as well. However the requirements are slightly different. Accident victims can only seek compensation from establishments if the minor who caused the accident was also ‘visibly intoxicated’.
Three states do not fall into either of the categories above. They each have their own unique laws for qualifying Dram Law cases.
- Georgia – the establishment has to knowingly sell alcohol to either a minor or a visibly intoxicated individual. Additionally the server must know that the minor or clearly intoxicated individual will be driving soon
- Michigan – in Michigan an individual can seek compensation from a Dram shop, however they must have the name of the person who caused the accident (adult or minor) in the same case as the defendant
- Texas – serving anyone under the age of 18 alcohol in any capacity while in a Dram hold makes the shop liable for any accidents that happen afterwards. If the patron is over the age of 18, if a server continues to serve them even if they are visibly drunk and are a danger to either themselves or others, the shop can be held accountable
The last seven states do not have any specific Dram shop liability laws.
Dram shop lawsuit loans
Uplift helps plaintiffs with dram shop lawsuits fight back against large insurance companies with pre-settlement funding against their dramshop claims. Unlike typical car accident loans against non-commercial or private insurance, dram shop lawsuits have large defendants with million or several million dollars in insurance coverage.
Despite the fact that these cases afford plaintiffs the ability to go after large recoveries, liability can be complicated to prove and will almost always be vigorously defended. Uplift’s attorneys are very familiar with these claims and can offer 24 hour approval for dram shop lawsuit loans.
How much pre-settlement funding can I get?
Assuming liability is strong on your claim, the amount of funding you are approved for depends on the extent of your economic and non-economic damages. Simply put, because there is substantial insurance, the amount your case is worth depends more on the injuries you have an how they have impacted your life. In most cases, Uplift can offer 10-15% of the conservatively expected value of your case. Check out our general personal injury settlement calculator to learn more about how much you can get approved for on your case.
How much do dram shop lawsuit loans cost?
Lawsuit loans can be expensive. It is important to exhaust all other options for funding before pursuing pre-settlement funding. Having said that, Uplift provides some of the industry’s lowest rates. Our simple, non-compounding terms make a huge difference, especially with dram shop lawsuits that may take a long time to settle. We typically charge anywhere between 17.5% and 22.5% every 6 months for pre-settlement funding and can offer better terms for post-settlement funding.
Uplift Legal Funding
If you have been in a third party of a first party Dram shop accident, you may be entitled to compensation. These cases, while not frequent, can be devastating to the individual who was harmed.
With Dram shop lawsuit loans from Uplift, you’ll be able to stay on your Dram shop case as long as you need to. Drunk driving is never OK, and the establishments that allow that behavior should be held responsible as well as the driver.
Call Uplift today or apply online to see if you qualify today!