A young man recently limped into the Palm Desert auto accident lawyer office of Barry Regar A Professional Law Corporation. He had been injured as a result of an auto/
truck accident caused by a drunk 20 year old male driver of a large lifted pickup truck. Our potential client's injuries exceeded the insurance limits of the drunk driver's insurance policy. We investigated the case and discovered that the 20 year old had started drinking at his apartment and continued this activity at a Coachella Valley bar. The investigation also revealed that the drunk driver had a passenger in the pickup at the time of the accident. Our investigator spoke to the passenger and discovered that the driver was showing signs of drinking when they both left the apartment and before arriving at the bar. The passenger also admitted to being served at the bar with less than reasonable proof of his being over 21 and told us that his buddy, the drunk driver was not even, "carded".
Our office will file a lawsuit against the drunk driver and the Bar that served the, "obviously intoxicated minor" driver of the pickup. Under California law restaurants and bars may not be found civilly liable for serving alcohol to an intoxicated adult customer who later causes injuries to someone because of causing a car accident. But the bar can be liable if the customer of the bar was a minor and the minor was "obviously intoxicated' when served alcohol by the bar employee. I know the law doesn't seem to make sense. It is not fair that a seriously injured accident victim of an adult driver who got drunk at the neighborhood watering hole can't sue the bar for sending a drunk driver out onto our Palm Desert or Indio roadways. The dram shop laws are responsible for that failing of our personal injury legal system. We can all thank the restaurant and liquor lobby for these laws.
But all is not lost. Under California Business and Professions Code section 25602.1, "a cause of action may be brought by or on behalf of any person who has suffered injury or death against any person licensed, or required to be licensed, pursuant to Section 23300 of the code who sells, furnishes, gives or causes to be sold, furnished or given away any alcoholic beverage to any obviously intoxicated minor where the furnishing, sale or giving of that beverage to the minor is the proximate cause of the personal injury or death sustained by that person."
If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver, contact an experienced Palm Desert car accident attorney to review all the facts of the case. There is no charge for the consultation.