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Premises Liability at Bars

Although bar employees are well-trained and experienced in handling rowdy customers, what happens when someone who has drank far too much suffers an injury as a result? Can customers sue bars for over-serving? And what about minors who are unlawfully served by a bar and later suffer an injury while intoxicated?

Most states have what are referred to as “dram shop laws” which may or may not protect them against unreasonable lawsuits regarding these situations. In Illinois, an individual can recover compensation if four factors are properly demonstrated: 1) alcohol was sold to him/her by the defendant; 2) the plaintiff suffered damages of some kind; 3) the sale of alcohol was the “proximate cause” – meaning potential risk to third-parties was foreseen by the defendant – of the plaintiff’s intoxication; and 4) the intoxication was one cause, if not the only cause, of the damages suffered by the plaintiff.

No matter how the responsibility may be divided for an intoxicated individual’s injuries, they can only recover for what was not their own fault. Bar patrons who consume excessive amounts of alcohol may very well claim total liability by doing so, and are at the very least hurting their chances of earning compensation should they suffer an injury. If they drink with little to no guidance or regulation on behalf of the bar, however, any resulting injuries may indeed call for a lawsuit to earn compensation.

To what extent is such an establishment responsible for protecting you? “Premises liability” consists of rather strict standards of customer-protection for all businesses that are physically open to the public. Although bars may use signs, waivers, and even verbal warnings to relinquish responsibility for the actions of customers, they are not always sufficient; if someone suffers an injury under poor security measures (inadequate lighting, no security cameras, lack of supervision), the bar may certainly be held responsible. Such cases depend on a wide range of factors pertaining to the plaintiff, his/her injury, the establishment, and the case being made, but having an experienced attorney on your side from the beginning is crucial to ensure that your compensation can be secured.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a premise liability-related accident, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.

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