Can I Sue a Bar That I got Drunk AtCan I sue a bar that I got drunk at? That is a question that is being asked more and more often all across the United States.
Obviously, there is more to the question than this. There has to be another reason why you would want to sue a bar, other than the fact that you simply got drunk at the bar. Perhaps, you fell off a bar stool and injured your leg. Or, you fell down on the curb outside of the bar and suffered injuries.
What you are really asking is, Can I sue a bar that I got drunk at because of injuries that I sustained due to being drunk? Is the bar or bar owner liable for serving me alcohol until I got drunk? Should the bar have stopped serving me alcohol before I got drunk?
Take responsibility for your own actions
If you look at peoples responses on the internet to someone who is intending to sue a bar for this reason, you will find that the overwhelming majority of people responding think that you should not be able to sue. They believe that you should take responsibility for your own actions. They would say that no one held a gun to your head and forced you to get drunk. You did that of your own free volition.
Having said that, 38 states now have dram shop laws or case law in place in which a bar is held strictly liable for anyone who is injured by a drunken patron of that bar. On the other hand, California recently passed legislation that bans this strict liability. The reason being that it is often difficult to prove that alcohol is the specific cause of an accident, due to the fact that there is always an intervening cause, which is the person who is drunk.
The state that you live in
The answer to the question, Can I sue a bar that I got drunk at, really depends on the state that you live in. For example, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a man who pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated has the right to sue the bar where he got intoxicated. The man who had a blood alcohol content of .196 was involved in a 2006 motorcycle accident.
However, in Nevada, bars are not liable for injuries that you sustain after getting drunk. The reason may very well be due to the devastating effect it would probably have on the tourist industry in Nevada.
In some states, a bar can only be sued if they serve alcohol to a minor. In other states, the maximum amount of damages that you can get from a bar are limited to a specific amount. This is based on the idea that the lions share of the injury should be the responsibility of the person who got drunk.
The test is fuzzy
Another important point to remember is that the test is fuzzy for deciding whether a bar should have recognized and realized that a person was drunk and should not have been served more alcohol. Courts consider the condition that a drunk person is in and whether it was foreseeable to the bar that you were visibly intoxicated. The real issue being not how much you have had to drink, but how has the alcohol affected you.
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