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Bert Louthian is an experienced Columbia dram shop liability lawyer. If you have been harmed by someone who was overserved alcohol or a minor who was served alcohol, the business may be liable to pay compensation. The Louthian Firm Accident & Injury Lawyers handles claims against establishments for overserving and for serving a minor alcohol. Our Columbia personal injury lawyer represents victims to claim compensation.

Attorney for Dram Shop Cases in Columbia, SC

A business or establishment licensed to sell alcohol may not:

  • Sell beer or wine to an intoxicated person
  • Sell beer or wine to a person under the age of 21

If the establishment violates these rules, and you are harmed as a result, you may be due compensation from the establishment.

If you have been injured by an intoxicated person, a lawyer for dram shop in Columbia, SC can represent you to claim compensation. Lawyer Bert Louthian represents people who are hurt by the actions of others. He is here for you when life goes wrong. To see how he can assist you, contact The Louthian Firm Accident & Injury Lawyers for a free consultation about your situation.

Suing a Bar for Overserving

A victim may bring a dram shop claim against a party licensed to serve alcohol. Common businesses and establishments that may be sued include:

  • Bars
  • Taverns
  • Pubs
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels with bars
  • Clubs
  • Party stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Groceries that serve alcohol

South Carolina Code § 61-4-580 applies to liquor licenses. Any license holder could be liable for a violation if it results in harm to the victim.

There are many ways that an intoxicated person can injure others that may result in a dram shop claim:

  • Drunk driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Assault and battery, intentional harm
  • Assault with a firearm or other dangerous weapon
  • Disorderly jostling, pushing or causing a trip and fall

Our law firm can explore all possibilities for you to receive compensation.

Legal Liability for Bars and Restaurants that Overserve Alcohol

Bars, restaurants and other establishments that serve alcohol may not serve someone who is visibly intoxicated. They may not serve a minor under the age of 21. If they violate these rules, and the person who is served causes harm to someone else, the establishment may be liable in addition to the person who directly caused the harm. The purpose of the law is to protect the public from people who are improperly served alcohol.

Victims may claim compensation available to a personal injury victim including financial losses like medical bills and lost income. They may receive compensation for non-economic damages including pain and suffering, disfigurement and lifestyle limitations. When lawyer Bert Louthian represents you, he makes sure that your damages are fully included in your claim.

South Carolina’s Dram Shop Law

While S.C. Code § 61-4-580 doesn’t directly create legal liability to a third party harmed because of overserving, the courts have ruled that S.C. Code § 61-4-580 is essentially South Carolina’s dram shop law. The law has to do with licensing alcohol sales and revocation of a license for serving to an intoxicated person or a minor.

South Carolina courts have said that because the law is meant to protect the public, a victim may have a civil cause of action when they are harmed. There are several court opinions discussing establishment liability for selling alcohol in violation of S.C. Code § 61-4-580. (Hartfield v. Getaway Lounge Grill Inc. 388 S.C. 407 (2010), Daley v. Ward, 303 S.C. 81 (S.C. Ct. App. 1990), Jamison v. the Pantry, 301 S.C. 443 (1990).

Can you bring a lawsuit if you were the person who was overserved?

No. South Carolina law doesn’t allow the person who was overserved to bring a lawsuit for injuries. An example would be someone who is intoxicated, is served by an establishment and is in an accident causing injury. The injured person can’t bring a lawsuit against the establishment for their own injuries. A third party who is harmed by the overserved person may bring a claim.

In Tobias v. Sports Club, 332 S.C. 90 (1998) (overruling Christiansen v. Campbell, 285 S.C. 164 (1985), the South Carolina Supreme Court declared that there is no first party cause of action for a person who is injured after being overserved. The court said that it is against public policy to allow an intoxicated person to maintain their own suit. The court declined to rule on how the law applies to a minor who is served alcohol in violation of law.

How an Experienced Lawyer Can Assist You

Dram shop liability cases can be complicated. They often depend on scientific and technical evidence.

Here are some of the ways that experienced lawyer Bert Louthian can assist you in pursuing your legal rights:

  • Evaluating parties that may have legal liability for what has occurred
  • Determining what compensation you may receive and the value of your claim
  • Building proof of the facts and circumstances surrounding the case
  • Using expert witnesses to explain the level of intoxication at the time the injury occurred. Addressing challenges to the admissibility of expert evidence
  • Responding to legal motions including summary disposition and challenges to causation which are common in dram shop liability claims
  • Addressing legal issues that may be present in the case
  • Negotiating your settlement, exploring resolutions to the case or presenting your case at trial
  • Answering your questions and serving as your guide

Since 1985, lawyer Bert Louthian has been advocating for victims in Columbia, SC. The Louthian Firm Accident & Injury Lawyers focuses on the needs of victims. We handle cases throughout the region. If you have been harmed, we want you to receive justice and financial compensation.

Contact a Dram Shop Liability Lawyer in Columbia

If you or a family member have been hurt, we invite you for a free consultation with lawyer Bert Louthian. He is your Columbia lawyer for dram shop cases. Learn from The Louthian Firm Accident & Injury Lawyers about your case and see what you may receive in compensation.

We are taking new cases now. Call (803) 592-6231 or message us now to begin.

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