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Is over-serving alcohol considered personal injury?

The short answer is ‘yes.’ Over-serving alcohol is serving alcohol to an individual who is clearly already intoxicated or who a person should reasonably believe is intoxicated. There are laws against this type of behavior intended to protect people who might not be in a good state of mind when they are out drinking. It creates a burden of responsibility on restaurant and bar owners to ensure that no one is drinking too much. In this article, I will explore a tragic instance of over-serving and why it is considered personal injury.

Very recently, three young men were involved in a car accident after drinking at a local restaurant. Unfortunately, they all perished and the restaurant owner who served them alcohol is being charged with over-serving. The problem with charges like these is that there is no clear bright line that indicates when someone is intoxicated. Some people have higher alcohol tolerances than others, regardless of their size, sex or age. Moreover, some people are better at hiding intoxication than others. My argument isn’t that you can’t know when someone has clearly had too much; with some people, you can tell. My argument is that you can’t always know when someone has had too much; with some people, you just cannot tell. Everyone has a personal responsibility to ensure that they are being healthy and making good choices. The restaurant owner did not ask the young men to enter his restaurant, nor did he force the men to drink, nor did he insist that they drive their own vehicle under the influence. Each of these things the men decided autonomously. Nevertheless, likely due to the tragic outcome of the night, the restaurant owner is liable to be charged with personal injury.

Why does over-serving qualify as a personal injury?

Over-serving alcohol usually isn’t considered personal injury in itself. The only time the charge is actually incited is when over-serving leads to some type of physical accident or injury. In this way, over-serving alcohol can arguably be considered as a partial or whole contributor to a personal injury and can demand legal ramifications. The laws that encompass these instances are referred to as “dram shop” or “liquor liability” laws. Under them, one can effectively sue for any damages incurred from an alcohol-related personal injury. Clawson and Staubes explain the requirements that must be met for a case to be made for personal injury. First, it must be proved that the establishment actually served the alcohol. Next, it must be proved that alcohol continued to be served to the patron even when they were visibly intoxicated or if the bartender had a reasonable belief to think that they were intoxicated based on the number and types of drinks they were serving. Alcohol establishments found guilty of charges of over-serving alcohol can be subject to fines and revocation of liquor licenses.

If you believe that you were over-served alcohol and that contributed to your personal injury, you should contact a lawyer.

Facts and Statistics About Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a concrete proof that cell phones and driving do not mix. It is defined as any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving. Regardless of the distraction, it could be risky to a driver, passengers, and pedestrian. Distracted driving ranks as one of the leading traffic safety issues with 80% of the drivers who took part in the AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index citing as a major problem.
Distracted driving can be one of the major contributors to a serious car accident. According to the website of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, PA, the effects of a car accident can be devastating to the persons involved as it could lead to serious injuries or even death. Here are some staggering facts about distracted driving that every driver should know:
Approximately 9 Americans are killed every day from motor vehicle accidents involving distracted driving (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
There is a 1 in 4 probability of a motor vehicle crash involving a mobile phone (National Safety Council)
A distracted driver using a cellphone is 4x at risk of getting involved in a car accident (National Safety Council)
It takes an average of five seconds for a driver to take their eyes off the road and send a text message. At 55 mph, it is enough time to travel the length of a football field without looking (2009 VTTI)
While multitasking is common in the workplace such cannot be said about driving. It can be difficult to focus on the road while sending a text message, eating, or searching for something on the floor. Distracted driving can be divided into 3 different forms:
Cognitive Distraction is when the mind of the driver is not focused on driving. Talking to another passenger, daydreaming, thinking about an upsetting thing are some examples. Listening to a podcast ot radio station is another example of cognitive distraction as the audio can take the driver’s attention away from their driving and the road situation
Visual Distraction occurs when a driver looks at anything other than the road ahead. Checking the seat belt of the kids, adjusting GPS, adjusting temperature controls, doing make up, to name just a few falls on this type of distracted driving.
Manual Distraction this happens when the driver takes one or both hands off the steering wheel for whatever reason. Eating and drinking in the car, trying to get something from a purse, wallet, or briefcase, turning knobs in a car is an example of manual distraction.
Texting while driving falls on all three types of driving. It is visual as you look at your phone instead of the road and other cars. It is manual because you type messages rather than keep your hands on the wheel. It is cognitive because your focus is on the conversation instead of the road situation.
When driving, make sure that you remove any distractions and focus on the road and the happenings. This will allow you to react and prevent your car from crashing with another car or a property.

How Can a Truck Driver Be Negligent?

Constant vigilance and diligence is expected of any skilled worker. To their craft, they must be qualified to perform in order to do their task well; that’s not the only reason, however. There are certain positions that require a standard of care to which the professional must abide by in order to not be a danger to themselves or to others. Truck drivers are, of course, within this category.

Trucks – especially massive eighteen wheeler trucks that can go up to 80,000 pounds in weight without need of a permit – have an incredibly high capacity for potential destruction. If you thought that a car crash was bad then a crash involving a truck could mean hundreds of lives affected and torn asunder. It is then important to be aware of the possible ways and incidents that could be a result of trucker negligence.

A truck driver is only legally allowed to drive a truck for a maximum of fourteen hours. If they exceed this, there is a chance that the driver in question has become fatigued in the journey; a tired driver is just about as dangerous as one under the influence of alcohol. If a trucker speeds on the highway and do not take into account the weight of their cargo, there could be some serious damage inflicted upon many other vehicles and even walking, innocent pedestrians.

There are also parts of a truck called “no-zones” (sometimes called blind spots) which are the spots along the truck that are difficult to see from the driver’s point of view. It is expected for truckers to be trained in adjusting to these difficulties when making turns or changing lanes; if they neglect to abide by that duty of care then they become liable for the damage that their negligence has brought as a consequence.

Drunk-Driving, an Upsetting and Infuriating Preventable Cause of Accidents, Injuries and Deaths

It is surprising to know that between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the issue on the prohibition of alcoholic beverages was one issue hotly debated by two groups of people in America: the “dries” and the “wets.” The “dries,” who pushed for the banning of alcohol, citing public morals and health as the bases of their argument, claimed victory over the “wets” (the anti-prohibitionists), a victory that was translated into law known as the “Prohibition in the United States,” which remained in place from 1920 to 1933. The Prohibition actually forbade anyone from selling, producing, transporting or importing alcoholic beverages all across the nation; this was intended to put an end to many Americans’ excessive alcohol consumption, especially during the colonial era. While this constitutional ban did not totally eliminate the presence of alcohol in the land, it, nonetheless, succeeded in keeping overall alcohol consumption low.

But that was history. Today, Americans, 21 years old and above, can drink freely anytime, anywhere, except in the more than 200 counties, specifically those in the Bible Belt (a number of communities in the Southern US), which chose to keep the Prohibition in effect. Well, there probably is nothing wrong with drinking, so long as it is not excessive and, most of all, if one does not drive afterwards. (According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving®, MADD, it will take an average person about an hour to metabolize a standard drink, which can be a 12 ounce bottle of beer, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits or 5 ounces of wine – all have the same amount of alcohol).

It is both upsetting and infuriating, though, for despite the anti-drunk driving law and the harsh penalties that await offenders, plus all the continuous ads and campaigns about the dangers of drunk driving, people still choose to get behind the wheel unmindful of the risk of accident they can cause due to impairment (by alcohol).

Impairment is the primary reason why drunk driving is prohibited. Being less sober, a person’s reflexes become slower. Besides this, impairment also affects a person’s general ability to focus on the road, judgment, perception, coordination and reaction time. Though the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is set at 0.08%, which means that anyone caught driving with this BAC level (or higher) can be charged with alcohol-impaired driving or DUI/DWI, driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated.

“There is simply no reason to drive drunk,” as it says on the website of law firm Spiros Law, P.C. This firm goes on to say that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and CDC never fall short in reminding and advising people to take a cab, use public transportation or ask a friend to drive them home (leaving their vehicle securely locked instead) if they had drinks.

Because of the obstinacy of some people, however, drunk driving remains to be a major problem. According to the website of the San Diego personal injury attorneys at Ritter and Associates, in 2008, there were 13,838 alcohol-related fatal crashes; since then, the number of deaths due to this irresponsible road behavior has never gone down to 10,000+.

A victim of drunk driving suffers not only physical injuries and trauma resulting from the life-threatening experience. It is very likely that his or her family would also suffer financial hardship due to absence from work, thus, lost wages and the need to pay costly medical treatment. Situations become worse if the injury leads to disability as this will mean more wages lost and higher cost of medical care.

Victims of drunken driving accidents, as explained in the website of the Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, are entitled to seek compensation from the liable negligent, careless or irresponsible party. While there is no stopping victims from agreeing to a settlement with the liable party or from filing a lawsuit and facing the legal battle alone, these strategies can prove critical in their attempt to seeking compensation or receiving the maximum amount of compensation they are allowed (to seek and receive) under the law.

Read that Charlie wants to thank the Charleston personal injury lawyers of the Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group.