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Alcohol-Related Accidents

Holding bars and restaurants accountable for injuries caused by intoxicated drivers and patrons

Under Massachusetts law the drunk is not the only one who may bear legal responsibility.

While many people justifiably blame the intoxicated person for alcohol-related accidents and the devastation they cause, under Massachusetts law the drunk is not the only one who may bear legal responsibility.

Liquor servers and licensees in Massachusetts are liable for injuries and death caused by their negligent service of alcohol under Massachusetts statutory and common law. The idea of the law is simple: to make sure that those serving and profiting by the service of liquor do so responsibly.

Very often, the actions of a bar, restaurant, or other liquor server substantially contribute to the injury or death, whether by service of alcohol to a minor or a person who is already intoxicated. Such injuries commonly occur when a drunk patron drives an automobile after being over-served. Service of liquor to a minor who then causes an accident will also give rise to liability on the part of the bar or restaurant. And service of alcohol to a minor or intoxicated person by a social host may also give rise to liability on the part of the host.

SUGARMAN’s personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in successfully representing persons injured or killed as a result of the actions of an intoxicated person. SUGARMAN attorneys vigorously prosecute the claims of persons injured by the negligent service of alcohol, sometimes referred to as “dram shop” cases, whether the injury occurs as a result of drunk driving, physical or sexual assault, or other negligent conduct of an intoxicated person. SUGARMAN’s cases, including the largest liquor liability verdict in Massachusetts, have been groundbreaking and have helped shape Massachusetts law so that it is more favorable to victims of these acts.

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If you or a loved one has been involved in an alcohol related accident, the lawyers at SUGARMAN are here to help.

More About Alcohol-Related Accidents

In Massachusetts, bars and restaurants can be liable for the actions of intoxicated patrons both inside the bar and even once they leave the bar. The injured party’s alcohol-related accident law firm must prove that the drunk patron showed visible signs of intoxication at the time of service of the liquor, or otherwise show by circumstantial evidence that the liquor licensee over-served the patron.

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Liquor server’s liability

Settlement against bar that over-served a patron. The patron drove a short distance from the bar and collided with the plaintiff’s car. The drunken patron had a .27 BAC.

Recovery under Massachusetts’ liquor liability law for family of man killed in single car accident

Significant recovery for the widow and family of a man who died in a single car accident as a passenger in his friend’s vehicle. The driver of the car was intoxicated at the time of the accident, and had been drinking at a bar near the accident site. SUGARMAN attorneys brought claims on behalf of the widow and family against the driver and the establishment, under Massachusetts’ liquor liability law, alleging that the driver was negligent and that the bar had over-served him.

Dram shop/liquor liability and motor vehicle negligence

Recovery in personal injury lawsuit against driver and bar in which he was served after becoming intoxicated before driving a corporate-owned exotic sports car off the road and into a tree at a high rate of speed, resulting in the death of both himself and his passenger.

Wrongful death in drunk driving incident

Settlement of wrongful death and personal injury cases arising out of drunk driving incident in which the front seat passenger was killed and the back seat passenger was severely injured. Settlement obtained against drunk driver and the tavern which overserved him in the two hours prior to the incident.

Wrongful death and serious injuries in Jamaicaway drunk driving crash

Pre-trial settlement on behalf of family of a woman killed in a drunk driving accident as well as on behalf of two others who suffered serious injuries in the same crash. The drunk driver became intoxicated at a Boston bar and was attempting to drop off her passengers when she crossed a double yellow line on the Jamaicaway and struck another vehicle head on. The drunk driver’s blood alcohol level was later found to be almost three times the legal limit.

Traumatic brain injury in pedestrian crosswalk crash

Settlement on behalf of client injured when he was struck by a car while in the crosswalk on the way to the Braintree MBTA Station. The client suffered a traumatic brain injury and, together with the spouse, brought a claim against the driver for his negligence in causing the accident.

Dram shop/Liquor liability - Bar overserves patron

Recovery in personal injury lawsuit against a night club for motorcyclist who suffered a below-the-knee amputation when he was struck by wrong-way driver who had become intoxicated at the night club.