How are Dram Shop Laws Different in Louisiana?
Louisiana has its own unique social host liability laws. Though most people are unaware of it, each state handles such “dram shop” cases differently. In some states, social hosts are liable for damages stemming from already-intoxicated person’s consumption of alcohol at a party or other event on the property.
Furthermore, some states are particularly punitive when it comes to serving alcohol to minors who subsequently harm others. Louisiana generally does not have social host liability. If you believe another person’s lack of due care is responsible for your injury or any losses, our law firm in New Orleans can help. Here is a closer look at how the state of Louisiana handles dram shop cases.
Liability for Alcohol-Related Accidents
Louisiana has not yet passed legislation that holds social hosts or alcohol vendors liable for damages resulting from providing alcohol to an inebriated individual, minor, or other person. This is an important distinction to note. Those in other states who suffer injury in alcohol-related accidents can attempt to use dram shop or social host liability laws to seek compensation. As detailed below in the “Exceptions” section, only two distinct circumstances in Louisiana allow for such a lawsuit.
Louisiana law states an individual injured by another person who is intoxicated is not permitted to obtain damages from the social host or alcohol vendor who provided the alcohol. It does not matter if the individual was clearly under the influence at the time of the sale of the alcohol. The logic behind such laws is that the drunk individual willingly consumes as much alcohol as desired. It is not the bar or restaurant that makes the decision on the consumer’s behalf. The establishment is simply in business to make money. It is the individual who is responsible for his or her own actions.
However, it is still possible to bring a personal injury claim against the individual who caused the accident. As long as their attorney can prove negligence, the victim can pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The social host or alcohol vendor cannot be sued in the state of Louisiana for damages stemming from an inebriated customer. However, these parties are still liable for premise liability claims.
If the social host or vendor is responsible for the intoxication of the allegedly guilty party and misrepresented the beverages served as non-alcoholic, liability can become murkier. Furthermore, if the host or vendor spurred the intoxication by force, liability opens up even in the state of Louisiana. Though these instances are rare, they have the potential to occur.
About Dram Shop Cases
The cases detailed above are referred to as dram shop cases for good reason. Dram shop is actually a statute that makes a social host or establishment that over-serves drunk or near drunk individuals liable for subsequent injuries. However, there must be evidence to prove the injuries are the result of the aggressor’s intoxication. As noted above, victims in such cases can seek justice through a personal injury lawsuit rather than a dram shop case due to Louisiana’s unique laws.
Liability Under Personal Injury Law
Instead of suing the establishment in question, it is possible to obtain compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk individual. However, the victim must file such a lawsuit within a year of the date of injury. If you have suffered injury in such a case, act quickly. The window to obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and beyond will close sooner than you may expect.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in New Orleans
Our personal injury attorneys are here for you in your time of need. We can help you obtain justice. Contact Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys at (504) 345-1111 to schedule an appointment. Our office hours are 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday, yet we are available 24/7 to take your call. You can also contact us through our website’s LiveChat feature. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting our law firm in New Orleans. We won’t charge you any fees unless we are successful in winning your case. Don’t wait. Reach out to us today!
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.