Dram Shop Lawyers

Holding Establishments & Vendors Liable

Dram shop laws hold bars, restaurants, taverns, and other establishments accountable for overserving patrons who then go on to cause alcohol-related injuries or deaths. For example, if a drunk driver causes a catastrophic auto accident leading to bodily injury or death after being overserved by an establishment or vendor, the injured accident victim or the surviving family members of the individual who died may file a lawsuit against the establishment or vendor.

In a situation like this, you need a legal team that is willing to fight for you, one that won’t back down and will even take your case to trial if necessary. At Potts Law Firm, we will stand by you every step of the way. Our dram shop lawyers have extensive experience in this area of law, as well as access to powerful resources and industry experts who can help establish evidence on your behalf. We move quickly when initiating legal action and work efficiently to resolve our clients’ cases.

If you believe you may have a dram shop claim, contact us today at (888) 420-1299 to speak to a member of our team at no cost. We serve clients nationwide.

The Dangers of Overserving Alcohol

Alcohol negatively impacts an individual’s coordination, judgment, inhibitions, decision-making abilities, alertness, awareness, and reaction times. As a result, people who are intoxicated are far more likely to cause injury to themselves and others than those who are sober. This is especially true when an intoxicated individual gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

One of the greatest dangers of overserving someone alcohol is the risk of that person driving drunk. While dram shop laws are not specific to drunk driving accidents, most dram shop claims involve injuries or deaths resulting from someone’s drunk driving after being overserved alcohol by a bar, restaurant, establishment, or vendor.

Establishments and vendors that serve alcohol to patrons have a responsibility to recognize the signs of inebriation and avoid serving alcohol to individuals who are visibly intoxicated.

Visible intoxication may look like:

  • Slurred speech
  • Bloodshot or watery eyes
  • Poor balance/coordination
  • Stumbling
  • Swaying
  • Falling over
  • Smelling of alcohol
  • Disruptive or unruly behavior

Establishments and vendors that overserve visibly intoxicated patrons not only risk allowing the overserved patron to go on to cause injury; they also risk civil liability.

When Do Dram Shop Laws Apply?

Although dram shop laws vary somewhat from state to state, most apply in the following circumstances:

  • When an establishment or vendor provides alcohol to a minor (someone under the legal drinking age of 21) and/or someone who is visibly intoxicated, and
  • The person who was served alcohol by the establishment or vendor goes on to cause injury to or the death of another person

Though these claims often involve drunk driving accidents, dram shop laws may apply in any situation in which an overserved patron causes injury or the death of someone else. This includes instances involving assault, battery, and other acts of violence, including unintentional bodily injury or harm.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Damages Under Dram Shop Laws?

Liability under dram shop laws varies from state to state. That being said, these laws generally apply to various establishments and vendors that serve alcohol for immediate consumption.

Examples include:

  • Bars
  • Taverns
  • Pubs
  • Restaurants
  • Licensed bartenders
  • Bartending services
  • Catering services
  • Venues

Note that dram shop laws do not apply to liquor stores, grocery stores, and other establishments that sell alcohol not meant for immediate consumption.

Additionally, some states have “social host” laws. These laws hold individuals liable for providing alcohol to minors (those under the age of 21) in private settings, such as parties, when the intoxicated minor goes on to cause injury or death.

Types of Damages in Dram Shop Cases

People who are injured or who lose loved ones due to drunk driving accidents and other alcohol-related incidents may be entitled to financial compensation for their damages, or the losses they have endured as a result of the accident/incident. In addition to holding the intoxicated individual accountable, you could have a dram shop claim against an establishment or vendor.

The exact damages you can recover in a dram shop liability claim depend on the specifics of your case, but may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical costs
  • Lost income/wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Loss of earning ability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished enjoyment/quality of life

If your loved one tragically passed away due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of an intoxicated individual, you could be entitled to wrongful death damages. These may include medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, lost inheritance, and loss of love, support, companionship, and more.

How the Dram Shop Lawyers at Potts Law Firm Can Help

We are ready to take your call and discuss your potential case with you at no cost. Our experienced dram shop lawyers have earned the respect of their peers, their clients, and local courts for their tireless approach to negotiation, litigation, and trying cases. We are known for resolving cases quickly and have a long, proven track record of success in this area of law.

With multiple offices in several states, Potts Law Firm serves clients nationwide. We are dedicated to protecting victims’ rights and holding liable parties accountable for the immense harm and suffering they cause. Reach out to our firm today to learn how we can help you with your dram shop claim.

Call (888) 420-1299 or reach us online via our secure contact form. There are no costs for you unless we win your case.

Why Hire a Lawyer for Your Dram Shop Claim?

Dram shop laws are very complex; filing a claim can be extremely difficult without the help of a skilled lawyer. Right now, you should be focused on healing and moving forward with your life. You shouldn’t have to worry about fighting with the liable party’s insurance provider as you seek a fair settlement for your damages.

Instead, allow the dram shop attorneys at Potts Law Firm to fight for you.

As your legal team, we will handle every detail of your case. Our lawyers can meet with you to discuss your legal rights and options, explain what to expect from the process, and outline a plan for recovering the full compensation you are owed. We work quickly to build powerful, evidence-based claims for our clients and can handle all communication with the insurance company and/or liable party on your behalf. We prepare every case as though it will go to trial. If necessary, we are willing to fight for you and your recovery in court.


If you are unsure if you have a case, don’t hesitate to call us today for a free consultation. Our team of experienced attorneys are ready to review your claim and fight for you.


  • “They were able to complete it in a timely manner and were great at keeping me up to date with communication throughout the entire process. I highly recommend using this law firm if the need arises.”

    - Stephen P.
  • “Michael Bins has been extremely helpful in helping us to navigate a situation with an insurance claim on a commercial property. He’s gone above and beyond in moving our case toward a positive resolution that we’re satisfied with.”

    - Theo C.
  • “They know the law from every angle, dig deep, and will not accept anything less than what was asked in the original suit. The Potts team never backed down until the case was settled in full.”

    - Molly H.
IT'S ALL ABOUT OUR APPROACH Why We're The Best at What We Do

At Potts Law Firm, we believe the details of your case matter and we work tirelessly to pursue just compensation on your behalf. Our team of experienced attorneys and staff are backed with the resources they need to win regardless of the obstacles your case faces. We do this all while keeping an open line of communication with you.