Can you sue a bartender for a drunk driver’s accident?

You’re driving home on a Friday night. Out of nowhere, a speeding truck runs a red light and slams into you. You suffer a concussion and serious physical injuries—rendering you unable to work for months.

You hire an attorney and begin the process of filing a lawsuit against the negligent driver. As you examine the police report, you discover that the at-fault driver had actually been drinking at a local bar just before the accident. Is there an opportunity for two personal injury lawsuits—one against the driver and one against the bar?

Can the accident victim sue the bar?

The answer is, it depends. Under Florida law, a bar cannot be held liable for overserving their patrons, and they have no legal responsibility to ensure that drunk patrons find a safe way home. However, there are two exceptions to this rule:

If a bar serves alcohol to someone under the legal drinking age of 21, they can face liability for any injury or damage resulting from that person’s intoxication. The same holds true of a bartender who serves alcohol to someone whom they know to be addicted to alcohol.

Can the negligent driver sue the bar?

It’s worth noting that a bar could face two lawsuits if they serve alcohol to someone meeting one of the two conditions listed above. If the minor or alcoholic is involved in a crash with another person, the accident victim can sue the driver and the bar. In addition, the drunk driver may also sue the bar.

For this reason, it is particularly important for bartenders to be cautious about which customers they choose to serve.

Icon Testimonials Client Testimonials

I was injured at work directly due to poor management decisions. I worked as a lifeguard and a child that was in the care of the day care facility on the campus ran away. He was in immediate danger. I…
SHONA M.
I have recommended Jonathan Levy and his law firm to my friends and one of them became his client. I am truly grateful for everything Jonathan Levy and his team have done on my behalf. He is truly a wonderful attorney.
Faithe C.

Much to my surprise not only did they win my lawsuit but I ended up getting 3 times the original amount I was expecting to get! I could not have been more pleased with the staff and the outcome.
Allison M.

If it wasn’t for your help, I know I wouldn’t have been able to win my case. I know that it was far away for you to come to Miami but your professionalism was outstanding. I will always recommend you.
Maria W.

You might say you were even just doing your job, however, I think it’s essential that you realize how fortunate I am to have such a trusted esteemed attorney in my corner, blessed really.
Anonymous

See All Testimonials