If you are harmed in a drunk driving accident, you may want to seek compensation for your injuries. In South Carolina, an experienced lawyer could help you get damages not only from the drunk driver but from the bar that overserved them as well, through what is known as a dram shop case.
However, navigating through these claims can be a long and daunting process. The following are some ways that consulting with a personal injury lawyer on a dram shop case could result in a more beneficial outcome.
1. Attorneys Could Help Obtain the Appropriate Evidence to Prove Liability
Typically, injury cases are based on negligence. However, for dram shop cases, liability is based on recklessness or intentional conduct. This means that you must prove that the bar or establishment was consciously acting in a manner the could result in substantial risk.
In dram shop cases, this usually means victims must prove that the bar intentionally served alcohol to a patron who was clearly already intoxicated. A skilled lawyer could help you collect proper evidence and documentation to show that the bar acted in a reckless manner.
2. Personal Injury Lawyers Have Unique Connections and Knowledge Concerning Dram Shop Law
Lawyers often have working relationships with judges, prosecutors, and others in the legal process that help cases move more smoothly. Additionally, attorneys know more about local nuances in the law that you may not.
For example, South Carolina does not have a specific law pertaining to dram shop cases. However, courts more often recognize these claims if they are handled correctly by an accomplished attorney.
3. Attorneys Could Help File Your Dram Shop Claim in a Timely Manner
It is important to note that the statute of limitations for filing a dram shop lawsuit is only three years after the accident occurred. In order to file a claim, you must have the necessary evidence and documentation.
This often takes much longer to do when you do not have a lawyer guiding you through the process. Therefore, if you enlist the help of a personal injury lawyer, you may be more likely to file your claim and receive your reward more quickly.
4. Personal Injury Lawyers Could Negotiate Proper Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are a special category of compensation that go beyond compensatory damages. Negotiating for these types of damages can only be achieved by a seasoned attorney who can prove that the bar or restaurant acted in an extremely reckless manner.
Also, according to South Carolina law, punitive damages can only be received if they are specifically requested. If you do not have a lawyer by your side, you may miss the opportunity to negotiate for these types of damages.
5. Lawyers are Better Equipped to Deal with the Insurance Companies
Claim adjusters are trained to keep their company’s bottom line in mind when they are examining a car accident claim. Therefore, it can be beneficial to have a lawyer who could fight for your best interests and maximize the value of your claim.
At Christmas Law Firm, we have a team of seasoned attorneys that specialize in cases such as these. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident with a driver who was overserved, get in touch with us today about scheduling a consultation.