Connecticut law protects you from the consequences of a crash in several ways. By requiring licensing and insurance from all drivers, the state ensures a minimum level of driving competence and financial protection for everyone.
If you do get into a crash and get hurt, state law allows you to file an insurance claim or even a civil lawsuit in some cases. That means that when you get hurt by a drunk driver, you have a couple of different forms of protection available to you.
Unfortunately, someone irresponsible enough to drive while drunk may also be the kind of person to drive without adequate insurance. Even worse, they may not have much personal property and could wind up incarcerated for five years after causing a crash that hurt you while drunk. What can you do if a drunk driver doesn’t have the assets or insurance to compensate you for the injuries they caused?
You can file a dram shop claim in some cases
The drunk driver that caused your crash is ultimately the one responsible for the wreck because they knowingly got behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. However, other parties may have played a role in the situation leading to your crash.
Connecticut does allow those hurt by drunk drivers to take legal action against someone other than the driver in certain circumstances. Dram shop laws, in particular, let you seek compensation from a business that served alcohol to a drunk driver immediately prior to a crash.
Connecticut law has clear rules about when a business can serve liquor. The person buying the beverage must be 21 or older and must not show signs of obvious intoxication. If a business served alcohol to a minor or to someone already visibly drunk, that business may have some financial liability for a crash that results after the patron leaves.
Dram shop claims lead to justice in 2 distinct ways
Both you and the broader community will benefit from you bringing a dram shop claim after a drunk driving crash. As someone hurt by an intoxicated driver, you will benefit by connecting with compensation for the injuries and property damage caused by the crash.
The business that serves the alcohol will suffer financial consequences for their dangerous business practices. They may engage in better training and better alcohol service practices after losing money because they didn’t follow the rules previously. In other words, a dram shop claim both compensates you and deters the business from the same behavior in the future.
Filing a dram shop claim can help those struggling to cover the costs they incurred after a drunk driver hit them.