Dram Shop Actions: Liquor Establishment Liability

Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers on Your Side

If your personal injury was caused by an intoxicated person, you may have a claim against the owner of the business that sold the intoxicating liquor. Under Illinois law, as set out in the Dram Shop Act, an establishment that serves liquor to someone who becomes intoxicated and then injures another because of his intoxication is liable for the injuries. It is also possible for the owner of a business that sold liquor to the defendant to be held liable, but not a private party.

The following must be proven in order to achieve success in a dram shop case:

  • The drunk driver was intoxicated when the accident occurred
  • The at-fault party purchased or received alcohol from the defendant (establishment)
  • The alcohol was the cause of intoxication of the driver
  • The driver's impairment due to alcohol was one of the causing factors of the accident and injury
  • The plaintiff sustained injury or property damage due to the accident

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Combatting the Defense in Dram Shop Cases

After an accident, the defense may seek to prove that the plaintiff willingly caused the driver's intoxication, contributed to the intoxication, or provoked the conduct that led to the injury. If the defense is able to prove any of these factors, the plaintiff will be unable to recover compensation.

You must act quickly, as there is a specific timeline during which you can file a claim.

Given the complexity of the evidence required to prevail in a dram shop action, it is important to select a law firm with experience and skill in this area of the law. With over three decades of combined experience, Drake & Collopy, P.C. has successfully litigated numerous dram shop actions on behalf of injured clients. We can help you go beyond dram shop cases and hold the negligent driver accountable for other damages.

Trust in our team. Call today!