Dram shop laws often hold bars, liquor stores, and restaurants potentially liable for injuries and deaths caused by the alcohol they sell or serve. Social liability laws allow injured victims to sue private party hosts who serve alcohol to individuals who cause crashes.
At least 30 states have dram shop laws on the books. Colorado is one of them. These laws might allow you to recover additional compensation if you suffered injuries in a drunk driving crash.
How Colorado’s dram shop laws work
Colorado Revised Statutes section 12-47-801 outlines how an injured party may be able to hold virtually anyone licensed to sell alcohol liable for their injuries. Any victim wishing to file a lawsuit in such instances must prove that the vendor served alcohol to someone under the age of or that the customer was intoxicated when serving them, though.
The application of Colorado’s social host liability laws
Social host liability laws generally allow an injured party to hold private parties liable for serving alcohol to someone who later harms another in a crash.
Colorado’s social liability laws limit the circumstances under which an injury victim can sue a host for damages. An accident victim can generally only do so if the host served someone under 21 years of age. A victim can’t sue a party host for social host liability for continuing to serve an adult older than 21 years of age, even if they appeared visibly intoxicated at the time.
What to know if you’re planning to file a lawsuit
A statute of limitation applies if you plan to sue for compensation to cover your medical bills and other expenses. You must file a dram shop or social host liability lawsuit within a year of your accident occurring. You may find it helpful to know that the state places a $150,000 cap on how much victims can recover in such cases as well.
Liability for a drunk driving accident is a concept that can be challenging for most to understand. You’ll need to have a firm grasp as to what it means if you plan to file a lawsuit in your case.