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By Joseph Dell
Managing Partner

If an intoxicated person injured you in New York, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against that individual. However, depending on your situation, you may have additional legal options available to you. In some circumstances, the victim of an intoxicated individual may file a claim against the business that provided the intoxicated person with the alcohol. Claims of this type are brought under New York’s Dram Shop Act. In this article, we discuss liability under New York’s Dram Shop Act.  

Dram Shop Case Elements

Those who sell alcohol in New York have a duty not to sell it to certain categories of people. To establish liability under New York’s dram shop law, you must demonstrate the following:

  • You were injured by an intoxicated person;
  • The person who sold alcohol to the intoxicated person did so when that person was actually or apparently under the age of 21 or was visibly intoxicated at the time of the sale; and
  • The unlawful sale of alcohol to the person who injured you either contributed to or caused his or her intoxication.

Examples of Dram Shop Act Violations

Below are some examples of common types of Dram Shop Act violations: 

  • A bar serves alcohol to an individual who appears to be under 21 years of age without asking for identification. The person, who is under 21, becomes intoxicated and drives home, causing an accident that injures another driver. Under this scenario, the bar could be liable for the injured driver’s damages under the Dram Shop Act.
  • A bar serves alcohol to a customer who is slurring his speech and having trouble standing up. Upon finishing his drink, the customer stands up to leave the bar. While stumbling towards the door, the customer knocks another patron to the floor, injuring her. In this scenario, the bar may be liable under the Dram Shop Act for the patron’s injuries. 

Dram Shop Act Damages and Deadline

A party whose dram shop act is successful may be entitled to monetary damages for his or her injuries. Common types of dram shop act damages include lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and property damage.

An injured party must file a Dram Shop Act lawsuit within the time limits established by the state’s statute of limitations for this type of action. In the majority of cases, an injured person must file a Dram Shop Act claim within three years of the date of his or her injury. 

Contact a Long Island Personal Injury Attorney 

If you’ve been injured by an intoxicated individual in New York, the law firm of Dell & Dean, PLLC, is here to help you pursue financial compensation and obtain the justice you deserve. When you come to us for assistance with your New York personal injury case, we will put our ample experience and knowledge to work for you. Please contact us to arrange a free initial case evaluation with an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney

About the Author
Joseph G. Dell, the firm’s Managing Partner, is regarded as one of New York State’s top trial lawyers and a zealous advocate of those injured through the negligence of others. Having founded the firm in 1994 with the singular goal of leveling the playing field for those injured, Mr. Dell has worked tirelessly for his clients since its inception. In addition to meeting with clients on a daily basis and trying cases, Mr. Dell is a frequent lecturer at Law School and Bar Associations on cases of significant importance in the fields of negligence and medical malpractice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact Mr. Dell here.