Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Drunk driving accidents leave victims seriously injured, permanently disabled, paralyzed, brain damaged, or worse. At Tippens & Zurosky in Charlotte, our attorneys are experienced in representing victims of drunk driving accidents and helping victims recover fair compensation.
The lawyers of Tippens & Zurosky only represents victims of drunk driving, not criminals.
Our attorneys are experts in drunk driving accidents and will aggressively collect the facts, determine all sources of liability and insurance, and advocate on your behalf for fair compensation.
After thoroughly investigating your accident, our attorneys aggressively pursue fair compensation. Regardless of whether the drunk driver is punished through the criminal court system, you have a right to compensation for your injuries or for your loved one’s injuries or death.
Seriously injured by a drunk driver in North Carolina or South Carolina? Want justice for your loved ones?
Injuries from an Intoxicated Person’s Negligence
In North Carolina and South Carolina, if you are injured by an intoxicated person’s negligence in an car accident, you can bring a claim against the intoxicated person’s liability insurance company. But what is not commonly known is that a person injured by the negligence of an intoxicated person may also be able to bring a claim against a business, or other third-party that provided alcohol to the intoxicated person. These claims are sometimes referred to as “dram shop” claims. These claims are separate from one where the person injured by the negligence of an intoxicated person was injured due to alcohol provided by private hosts who served the alcohol in a social setting, such as a party, or wedding. These claims are sometimes called “social host” liability claims.
Dram Shop Claims in North Carolina
Dram shop laws in North Carolina are limited in that they focus only on the sale by vendors of alcohol to minors under the age of 21. A vendor who sells, or provides alcohol to an person under the age of 21 can be held liable if the vendor sold, or provided alcohol to a person under the age of 21, the person under the age of 21 then caused an accident because of being under the influence of alcohol served by the vendor, and the injuries suffered by the underage person’s negligent were proximately caused by the underage person’s negligent driving while under the influence of alcohol. The law limits the amount of available compensation in dram shop claims to $500,000.00 per occurrence. This limit is in effect no matter how many people were injured in the accident. So, all injured parties from the same alcohol related accident must share in the $500,000.00 with their recovery based on the amount of their damages in proportion to the total amount of the damages of all the injured parties.
Social Host Liability in North Carolina
Social host liability is not limited to cases where the social host served alcohol to people under the age of 21. All social guests, no matter what their ages, are included such as adults attending office parties, or adults attending picnics, barbecues, or any other social gathering. A social host would be considered liable if they provided alcohol to the guest that caused the car accident, the host was aware, or should have been aware that their guest was intoxicated, and the social host knew, or should have known, that their guest was driving afterward.
Dram Shop Claims & Social Host Liability in South Carolina
South Carolina does not specifically have dram shop or social host liabilities statutes on the books. What the courts in South Carolina have allowed is recovery using the state’s criminal statutes involving the sale of alcohol. A prime example of a criminal statute that could apply if you are hurt in South Carolina in an automobile accident involving an underage driver that was intoxicated is the prohibition of the sale of alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. So using this statute, and basic common law negligence doctrine, the South Carolina courts have held social hosts, bars, and restaurants liable for the injuries caused by the overserved. Although the South Carolina courts have found drunk drivers liable, the minimum liability limits in South Carolina are $25,000 per person, and $50,000.00 per accident. Because sometimes the damages in drunk driving cases are so egregious, this is sometimes not enough to satisfy even the medical bills of the injured parties. South Carolina does require that if your business has a liquor license for on-premises consumption that you maintain liability insurance in an amount not less than $1,000,000.00.
Tippens & Zurosky has represented people injured in drunk driving auto accidents, or hurt on the job in North Carolina and South Carolina for over twenty years. Let us help you deal with the unexpected, and get your life back on track. Call us toll free at (877) 372-3580, or 704-343-0018 to schedule a consultation so that we may assist you.