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New Jersey Dram Shop Liability Lawyers

Personal Injury Lawsuits & Liquor Liability

If you or someone you love were injured because of another person’s intoxication, you may have options to seek damages from a drinking establishment or social host that violated the state’s dram shop laws.

Dram shop liability claims introduce unique legal issues and require plaintiffs to prove specific legal elements. As such, they need to be handled by experienced attorneys who know the law and how to hold negligent bars, restaurants, or social hosts accountable.

At Levinson Axelrod, P.A., our award-winning attorneys have extensive experience litigating complex personal injury cases, including those involving drunk driving collisions, alcohol-related accidents, and issues of dram shop or social host liability. For a free review of your case, call (732) 440-3089 or contact us online.

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Dram Shop & Social Host Liability in New Jersey

In personal injury cases arising from alcohol-related accidents, injured victims (or families of victims who suffered a wrongful death) will typically pursue lawsuits against the intoxicated party. Often, this is a person who drove while intoxicated and caused a drunk driving accident.

In some cases, however, plaintiffs may have grounds to hold third parties liable for their damages under New Jersey’s dam shop and social host liability law (N.J.S.A. 2A:22A-5). That’s because the law holds that “licensed alcoholic beverage servers” and “social hosts” can be held liable for injuries caused by individuals they served, under certain circumstances.

To hold a third party liable for damages under New Jersey’s dram shop and social host liability law, certain circumstances must apply. For example:

  1. Restaurants, bars, taverns, and other drinking establishments classified as “licensed alcoholic beverage servers” can be held liable for damages when they serve alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated or a minor, and the individual later causes injury because of their intoxication. Plaintiffs must also prove that injury was a “foreseeable consequence” of serving alcohol to the at-fault party.
  2. Social hosts can be held liable for damages when they “willfully and knowingly” provided alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxication in their presence or, if the person was not in the presence of the host, provided alcohol in a manner that constituted “reckless disregard of the consequences as affected life or property of another.”

There are many nuances when seeking to hold alcoholic beverage servers and social hosts liable under this law. In the case of social hosts, for example, that includes the irrebuttable presumption that social hosts did not violate the law if the intoxicated person had a BAC of less than .10, and the rebuttable presumption that they did not violate the law if the person tests between .10 and .15. Generally, this means that social hosts are given the benefit of the doubt in terms of their conduct when serving guests until intoxicated persons have high BAC readings of .16 or above.

Given the need to meet specific elements when proving dram shop or social host liability, these cases should be handled by experienced and qualified attorneys. At Levinson Axelrod, our award-winning trial lawyers have extensive experience litigating personal injury, auto accident, and dram shop liability cases and can discuss how we can help during a FREE consultation.

Dram Shop Cases We Handle

Dram shop / social host liability can become an issue in a variety of alcohol-related accidents. Some examples of the types of cases our firm handles include:

  • Drunk driving accidents caused by motorists who were overserved alcohol.
  • Auto accidents involving minors who were served or provided alcohol.
  • Third-party assaults involving intoxicated guests, including assaults at bars or nightclubs.

Pursuing liability against a third-party drinking establishment or social host isn’t possible in every case. However, it can make the difference in cases where the intoxicated party is under- or uninsured and cases where victims’ damages exceed the policy limits of the intoxicated party’s insurance coverage. As such, exploring the possibility of dram shop liability is a worthwhile exercise.

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Reviews & Testimonials

*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
  • I want to thank you for all of your help settling my case seamlessly and promptly with an unexpected, and speechless outcome. I'm still in a bit of shock and I'm still processing it all. After my case bounced from associate to associate, I had...
    - G.K.
  • Celine took what I thought would be a stressful situation and turned it into a wonderfully positive experience for me and for my family. Her passion for her job, and her compassion towards her clients, is without limit. She is a fighter.

    - P.G.
  • I recently had the pleasure of working with the remarkable attorneys, Celine and Richard, at Levinson Axelrod, and I cannot recommend them highly enough! Thank you for your exceptional work and for going above and beyond to secure justice for your clien

    - P.T.
  • "Thank you and your team for fighting so hard for me."

    Thank you for your quick response and for the information. Most importantly, thank you and your team for fighting so hard for me. I am grateful to have had such a caring and diligent team representing me throughout this ordeal.

    - M.F.

    Examples of Our Results

    Levinson Axelrod, P.A. has recovered over $1 billion in compensation for clients, including millions of dollars in compensation for victims and families harmed because of alcohol-related accidents. Some examples of our results:

    *Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

    • $850,000.00 Auto Accident Settlement

      Kathleen recovered an $850,000 award through binding arbitration for a construction company owner who was struck from the rear in a motor vehicle collision in Lakewood, NJ.

    • $350,000.00 Auto Accident Settlement

      Kathleen secured a $350,000 settlement for a motor vehicle accident victim who was struck from behind by a school bus in Waretown, NJ.

    • $250,000 Auto Accident Settlement

      Attorney Kelley Lavery secured $250K in compensation through two policy limits settlements for a victim who was injured in a multi-vehicle car accident on Interstate 78.

    • $500,000.00 Auto Accident Settlement

      Kathleen recovered half a million dollars for a client who was injured in a pedestrian accident.

    • $250,000 Auto Accident Settlement

      Kathleen’s six-figure settlement arose from a motor vehicle accident involving a client who suffered serious knee injuries.

        No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Click here to learn more about these awards.

        At Levinson Axelrod We Never Settle For Less, and Neither Should You Contact Us Today to Speak Directly to an Attorney