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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.

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.

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:

Call For a FREE Consultation: (732) 440-3089

Levinson Axelrod, P.A. is a U.S. News “Best Law Firms” rated trial practice that’s recovered over $1 billion in compensation for injured victims and families across New Jersey.

If you have questions about your rights following an alcohol-related accident, including whether you may have grounds to pursue liability against a drinking establishment or social host under the state’s dram shop liability law, we want to help.

Our attorneys proudly serve victims across the state from multiple office locations and offer FREE consultations. Because we work personal injury cases on contingency, there’s no cost to hire our team an no fee unless we win.

Call (732) 440-3089 or contact us online to speak with a New Jersey dram shop liability attorney during a FREE consultation.

Only the Best Possible Result

Helping Clients Get the Compensation They Need
  • Medical Malpractice Settlement $12,500,000

    The Levinson Axelrod, P.A. team obtained a $12.5 million dollar settlement on behalf of a client who was injured due to medical malpractice.

  • Tractor-Trailer Jury Verdict $8,000,000

    A 35-year-old laborer who resides in Kearny was seriously injured while working on the median of a highway when a passing tractor-trailer lost a wheel that struck him.

  • Premises Liability Jury Verdict $7,000,000

    A woman was putting her 3-year-old son on a carnival amusement ride while holding onto a portable fence when she received an electrical shock. Our client was hospitalized and later developed Traumatic Dystonia, a condition that caused tremors in the hand and makes the fingers curl.

  • Personal Injury Settlement $7,000,000

    A Middlesex County man was severely injured and burned as a result of a collision with a truck. The truck driver had lost control of his vehicle and had come through a median barrier which had failed to redirect the truck away from oncoming traffic.

  • Personal Injury Jury Verdict $6,000,000

    A female drunk driver crashed into plaintiff’s vehicle causing multiple fractures to the right ankle and foot. Plaintiff’s doctor testified that plaintiff would be under pain management protocol for the rest of his life due to this condition.

  • Tractor-Trailer Settlement $3,700,000

    A Morristown woman was injured when her vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer that lost control on black ice on Interstate 287. The defendant's truck had jack-knifed as it was changing lanes in order to avoid an earlier accident. The accident resulted in our client suffering severe head injuries.

  • Product Liability Jury Verdict $3,500,000

    Worker injured by product defect on his commercial truck.

  • Personal Injury Verdict $3,200,000

    Levinson Axelrod, P.A. Partner Kim Gozsa recently obtained a $3.2 million dollar verdict on behalf of a client who was injured in a slip and fall accident at an outlet shopping plaza in Jackson, New Jersey. The substantial jury award stems from a case in which Kim’s client slipped and fell on ice on a sidewalk at the Jackson Premium Outlets, an outlet shopping center in Jackson Township, New Jersey.

  • Personal Injury Settlement $3,000,000

    A 31-year old iron worker was injured in a construction site accident when he was struck in the head by a cinder block. Despite the facts that he was wearing a hard hat at the time, the plaintiff still received a serious closed head injury resulting in both memory loss and total disability. The case was handled by both Richard Levinson and James Dunn and settled at the time of trial.

  • Wrongful Death Jury Verdict $3,000,000

    A worker developed asbestosis and lung cancer due to Asbestos exposure. Evidence at trial proved asbestos to be a defective product, which causes harm to workers who use it. Jury awarded the victim's widow damages for wrongful death.

  • Premises Liability Jury Verdict $3,000,000

    An Edison delivery man slipped on a wet floor while delivering a package. He broke his knee in the fall and suffered an injury to his spine, which in turn aggravated pre-existing conditions of incontinence and impotence which had been caused by previous injuries.

  • Premises Liability Jury Verdict $3,000,000

    Our client, a North Plainfield man, was injured when he slipped and fell on snowy steps while exiting his building. He suffered a lumbar disc injury, requiring surgery. The jury found his landlord 100% liable for the accident for failing to clear the steps to the building.

  • Inadequate Security Jury Verdict $2,700,000

    A mother of nine was shot and killed while working at a convenience store. Evidence at trial proved a lack of adequate security, including a panic button and outgoing phone line, had placed this worker at risk. Expert testimony also established that there was an increased risk of criminal activity in convenience stores which had inadequate surveillance equipment. The matter was upheld on Appeal, and settled prior to being reviewed by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

  • Third-Party Work Injury Settlement $2,650,000

    The plaintiff sustained a traumatic amputation of one leg, and a crush injury to the opposite foot, in a construction site accident. The claim was brought against the Department of Transportation, as it had a duty to monitor safety on the work site and its failure to do so contributed to the happening of this accident.

  • Auto Accident Settlement $2,500,000

    Levinson Axelrod Partner, Mark V. Kuminski represented a local Franklin Township woman who was involved in a three-car motor vehicle accident. The incident occurred when one of the drivers, later named as the defendant in the personal injury lawsuit filed by Mark and our firm, rear-ended a vehicle that had been stopped. Mark’s ability to express the full scope of damages incurred by our client, proved successful in compelling the jury to rule in our client’s favor.

  • Motorcycle Collision Settlement $2,500,000

    A young man was seriously injured while riding his motorcycle to work when another driver made a left hand turn in front of him, leaving our client had no memory of the accident. He suffered a number of serious fractures and underwent multiple surgeries, leaving him with disabilities. The case settled on the second day of trial.

  • Premises Liability Settlement $2,500,000

    Our client was injured while delivering a 3,000 pound piece of equipment to defendant's premises. The defendant's employees were assisting our client in unloading the product when one of them prematurely activated the lift gate, causing the piece of equipment to fall and strike his legs. He suffered serious injuries to both legs, requiring multiple surgeries.

  • Personal Injury Settlement $2,500,000

    Our client suffered a traumatic head injury after falling due to an unsecure railing.

  • Personal Injury Settlement $2,500,000

    A $2.5 million settlement secured by Levinson Axelrod, P.A. Partner Brett Greiner.

  • Personal Injury Jury Verdict $2,250,000

    The plaintiff injured her ankle when she stepped into a cement cut out in a commercial sidewalk where a tree had been planted. The plaintiff had been walking on the sidewalk on her way to a down town holiday festival. Her attention had been distracted by a negligently placed chestnut grilling stand, thereby diverting her attention away from the cut out. The plaintiff brought claims against both the property owner and the operator of the chestnut stand.

Trusted by Clients

Levinson Axelrod, P.A. is committed to helping good people through difficult times. We build real relationships and make communication a priority to provide the best possible service and results.

  • 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.
  • “I am so happy I've got you and your company representing me, after I saw you in action, when I wasn't getting weekly pay you said I'm going to the Judge to do this and that. I swear I was like This is ...”

    - Former Client
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    - M.F.
  • “Adam I would like to thank you for everything it was a pleasure to have you as my attorney and I would recommend your services to anyone that I know that would need legal services.”

    - D.L.
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