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Every day in the United States, there are over 17,000 car accidents per day. While some are minor fender-benders, others are more severe and caused over 2 million personal injuries, some that led to disability in 2018.

Those numbers are related to all traffic accidents. When diving deep into the number of alcohol-related crashes, about 800 people suffer injuries each day in a vehicle crash that included a drunk driver according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) Also, in 2017, 10,874 people died due to alcohol-related crashes. That equals one person killed every 48 minutes.

If you’re one of the fortunate ones that lives to tell the tale you have options to gain financial compensation. the United States allows anybody to file a personal injury lawsuit against the one who injured them. In some states, you can also file a lawsuit against the alcohol vendor “Dram Shop” or social host that provided the alcohol to the drunk driver.

Dram Shop law

Many states, including Massachusetts and Virginia, employ this claim. It means that you can file a lawsuit against an alcohol vender, like a restaurant, bar or nightclub that overserved the driver that hit you and caused your injuries. This claim also applies if the drunk driver is a minor.

Social Host law

The Social Host Law compares to the dram shop law in that many states have different adaptations of the law, but it would occur in a non-commercial setting. In Vermont, the injured victim can sue the host of the party or event if they were negligent and continued to serve the drunk guest who caused the accident. In Massachusetts, the law is broader. The host and the minors that live at the property can be charged or sued with violating the Social Host Law if they invite people over and serve them alcohol that leads to a crash and personal injury.

Also, as the legal “host” or landlord of the property, if you are away for the weekend, and bill is served too much alcohol at a party that was thrown on your property, gets in a crash and causes harm, you could still be held liable.

If you’re the injured victim, understand these laws and consult an attorney if you have questions. If you’re the host or owner of a dram shop, understand the signs so you don’t overserve and put your own future and business in danger. If you’re the driver, know you limit. Don’t put others in danger when you hit the open road.