What dram shop laws may have to do with your Massachusetts crash

Massachusetts roadways, like most other highways in the nation, are dangerous places nowadays. High-speed traffic, inexperienced drivers and others who are negligent at the wheel can make you feel like you achieved a major victory by safely reaching your destination. Drunk drivers are some of the worst menaces on the road. It’s no secret that other people’s poor choices to drink and drive not only costs lives but can also devastate the lives of those who survive their victims.

If you or your loved one suffers injury in a motor vehicle collision that a drunk driver caused, you may experience feelings of anger and frustration during recovery. That’s understandable and quite common among those who have gone through similar experiences in the past. Proactively guiding your own path to healing may help you cope with your emotions. For many, seeking justice helps bring closure and makes some sort of sense out of a seemingly senseless situation. Beyond the driver, others may also be liable for your injuries.

Did the driver go to a party or bar before the accident?

In Massachusetts and many other states, there are dram shop and social host liability laws. Those who file personal injury or wrongful death claims in the aftermaths of auto collisions caused by intoxicated drivers often cite these laws to seek legal accountability against those who served the drivers alcohol. The following information further explains the topic:

  • A dram shop law states that a pub owner or other third-party vendor who continues to serve a person alcohol after he or she becomes visibly intoxicated may be liable for injuries that occur later if the same person operates a motor vehicle after consuming the alcohol.
  • Private homeowners may also face legal trouble if they host parties and allow someone who is obviously drunk to keep drinking, then that person causes a car crash that ends in fatality or injury to another motorist, a passenger or a pedestrian.
  • Such laws may also cause social hosts or business vendors to have to pay for property damages associated with drunk driving accidents.
  • In Massachusetts, social host liability laws apply to party guests of all ages, not just minors.

Drunk driving laws vary by state. If you plan to navigate the civil justice system in connection with a motor vehicle crash that resulted in injury, you’ll want to make sure you clearly understand the laws of this state. There are support resources available to help you achieve as full a recovery as possible.


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