Because of the Tennessee dram shop law, a victim of a car crash involving a DUI is eligible to seek damage compensation from the individual who initially sold or furnished the alcohol to the at-fault drunk driver.
This is a benefit to those seeking compensation following a DUI accident, particularly when the driver at fault for the accident does not carry enough insurance to address your injuries, vehicle repairs or other damages.
The dram shop law
There are specific circumstances defining this liability. Compensation is possible in the following situations:
- The vendor sold the cocktail, beer or alcoholic beverage to a visibly intoxicated individual.
- The vendor provided or sold a beer, cocktail or alcoholic beverage to an individual known to be younger than 21 years of age.
In each of these cases, the burden of proof is that the injury was the direct result of either the driver’s consumption of the provided beverage or the underage driver’s consumption of the alcoholic beverage.
The rules for a social host
The language of dram shop liability specifies the sale of a beverage, but there are occasions where a social host may be liable. The social host either permitted the intoxication of an underage driver, or a “special relationship” exists between the at-fault drunk driver and the party host furnishing the alcohol. Liability is possible if the drunk driver is a minor, and if the social host did not make an effort to intervene when the minor attempted to drive after consuming alcohol. Because of the language in the law, dram shop liability is a complex matter.
If you wish to take action under the dram shop law, act quickly. Tennessee has a short statute of limitations for personal injury claims.