Injured in a Vermont DUI accident? You may be eligible to secure financial compensation. Vermont's dram shop act may allow you to file suit against the bar or restaurant that served the alcohol.
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Were you or a loved one injured in a drunk driving accident in Vermont? After suffering a serious injury, it's only natural to begin thinking about filing a civil lawsuit for compensation, but most of us are under the impression that we can only file suit against the responsible driver. In reality, Vermont law may provide you with another option.
Filing A Dram Shop Claim In Vermont
In some cases, injury victims and their loved ones are able to file claims against the licensed establishment that provided the responsible driver with alcohol. This is known as a dram shop lawsuit.
Bars, restaurants and nightclubs are required to serve alcohol in a reasonably safe manner. Vermont's dram shop act prohibits a number of violations, ensuring that licensed establishments can be held accountable for providing people with alcohol when they shouldn't.
Violations Of The Liquor Code
Dram shop lawsuits, by the same turn, must be based in a violation of Vermont's dram shop act. In this regard, the law outlines 3 specific violations that can serve as the foundation of a lawsuit:
- serving alcohol to a minor, someone under the age of 21
- serving someone who already appears to be "under the influence"
- serving someone "after legal serving hours" (after 2 a.m. in the morning)
Any one of these 3 violations can serve as the basis of a dram shop claim, if an intoxicated patron causes a DUI accident, starts a bar fight or causes another alcohol-related accident.
Broad Social Host Liability
Vermont has some of the most liberal social host liability rules in the nation. These laws apply to people who provide alcohol at private parties. In some cases, social hosts can be held accountable for negligent alcohol service, in the event that a drunken patron goes on to cause severe injuries. In Vermont, social host liability goes significantly further, applying even to the owners of rental properties where alcohol is consumed.
Vermont's Statute Of Limitations
Like any type of lawsuit, dram shop lawsuits are governed by a rigorous statute of limitations. This law acts like a legal time limit; if you file a lawsuit after the statute has run its course, your case will be dismissed. The statute of limitations for dram shop lawsuits in Vermont is 2 years, beginning on the date of injury.