If you or a loved one were injured in a drunk driving accident or bar fight in Colorado, our experienced dram shop attorneys may be able to help. Some victims may be eligible to file suit against licensed establishments for negligent alcohol service.
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Injured in a drunk driving accident or bar fight in Colorado? Colorado's dram shop law may be able to help. In some cases, licensed establishments (like bars, restaurants and nightclubs) can be held accountable for the actions of their drunken patrons. If a bar or other licensed establishment violates Colorado's liquor code, serving alcohol in a negligent manner, the establishment can be found liable for any injuries caused by a drunken patron.
How Filing A Dram Shop Lawsuit Works In Colorado
Dram shop laws are a powerful avenue of legal recourse for drunk driving victims. While it's natural, after a severe car accident, to begin considering a lawsuit against the responsible driver's insurance company, insurers are loathe to pay out claims easily.
In some cases, it can be possible to file two injury claims: one against the driver and another against the establishment where the driver got drunk. In Colorado, it's even possible in limited cases to file suit against a social host for negligently serving alcohol at a house party.
Causes Of Action
Bars, restaurants, nightclubs and liquor stores can only be held accountable for violating the law. In most dram shop lawsuits, plaintiffs allege one of two violations:
- serving an underage patron (under the age of 21)
- serving a visibly intoxicated patron
Attorneys use evidence, including witness statements and security camera footage, to prove that the law was broken. Note, however, that social host liability can only be enforced in cases when a minor (under the age of 21) was allowed to drink and become intoxicated at the host's residence or private property. Social hosts cannot be held liable for the actions of drunken adults, no matter how much they were allowed to drink.
In general, the available compensation in a Colorado dram shop lawsuit is limited to $150,000. The money can be claimed for anything from medical expenses to lost wages and pain and suffering.
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim?
As with any lawsuit, dram shop claims in Colorado are governed by a statute of limitations. This law, which is strictly enforced, acts like a time limit for filing a lawsuit. It begins on the date of injury or accident. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for dram shop lawsuits is only 1 year, so victims should take heed and act immediately.