I was hit by a drunk driver. That person was served at a bar after he or she was obviously intoxicated. Can I sue the bar?
If you were injured by an intoxicated person, you may have a personal injury case against the bar or restaurant that served that person alcohol.
Under the Illinois Dram Shop Act, also known as the Illinois Liquor Control Act, an injured plaintiff must prove that: the defendant sold alcohol to the patron; the plaintiff sustained damages; the patron’s intoxication was proximately caused by the sale of alcohol; and the intoxication was a cause of the plaintiff’s damages.
The law in Illinois is somewhat different from dram shop laws in other states, in that there is no requirement that the bar have knowledge or reason to know that the person was already intoxicated.
Dram shop liability in Illinois is strictest with regard to minors. Since it is illegal to serve alcohol to minors under any circumstances, bars that serve them can be held liable for injuries that intoxicated minors cause to others or to themselves almost without exception.
Dram shop liability has important statutory limitations, including strict time requirements, so it is important to call us immediately for a free consultation if you feel you have a case.