Dram Shop Laws in the State of Florida | What You Should Know

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No matter how carefully you yourself drive, there is simply no accounting for reckless or impaired drivers. Of course, you can hold them accountable, but did you know that you might be able to sue the people who served them? If you have sustained injuries due to a drunk driver, please read on, then contact one of our experienced St. Petersburg drunk driving accident attorneys to learn what you should know about dram shop laws in the state of Florida.

Does Florida have dram shop laws?

Most U.S. states have enacted a dram shop law of one kind or another and the Sunshine State is no exception. Florida’s dram shop law affords individuals who sustained injuries as a result of another’s intoxication a cause of action against the party that unlawfully sold, provided or assisted in providing, the alcohol to the intoxicant. In other words, if you sustained injuries through the wrongful behavior of another person, you may have the ability to assert a personal injury claim against that person.

Who is subject to dram shop laws in Florida?

While the state does not afford those injured by drunk drivers the opportunity to file suit against the social hosts who provided said drunk drivers with alcohol, Florida’s dram shop law allows residents to sue vendors under the following conditions:

  • The vendor “willfully and unlawfully” provided alcohol to a minor under the age of 21
  • The vendor “knowingly” provided alcohol to a person “habitually addicted” to alcohol

Keep in mind that Floridians have no more than two years, from the date of the accident, in which to bring forward a personal injury claim, which is why you should reach out to one of our skilled St. Petersburg motor vehicle accident attorneys to discuss your next steps and learn more about the personal injury claims process.

What damages can you seek in a dram shop claim?

In the Sunshine State, victims of drunk driving are able to sue for economic and non-economic damages, which are as follows:

  • Medical bills, including the costs of emergency care, surgery, hospitalization, medication and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages, including wages and benefits that might reasonably have been earned if the injuries had not caused disability
  • Costs for damaged or destroyed property
  • Pain and suffering

Don’t go through the personal injury claims process on your own. Let our firm handle the legal work. Please give us a call today so we can get started working on your case.