Attorneys for Victims of Bar Room Liability
Can you sue a bar after an alcohol-related injury?
Arizona's Bar Room Liability Laws
In order to protect our families from the dangers presented by intoxicated people, Arizona law makes it illegal for a bar or bartender to:
- provide unreasonable service,
- serve a person who is obviously intoxicated, and
- for any person to serve someone alcohol while they are under the age of 21 (except in accordance with religious observances).
Under Arizona law, a person is obviously intoxicated if he or she is:
"inebriated to the extent that a person's physical faculties are substantially impaired as shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction that would have been obvious to a reasonable person."
Bar Room Liability in Arizona
Bars are also responsible to take reasonable steps to protect people when entering, leaving or remaining on the bar's premises. If an employee of the bar knew or reasonably should have known of a danger to a person, then the bar employees must take reasonable steps to intervene by:
- notifying law enforcement officials or
- prevent the act of violence or altercation, or
- break up the act of violence or an altercation.
Even when a person is not at the bar, but is in the area immediately adjacent to the bar (such as in the parking lot), bar employees still have a duty to take reasonable steps to notify law enforcement, protect, or break up the act of violence if the bar's employees knew or reasonably should have known of the acts of violence or altercations.
Court case: ONTIVEROS v. BORAK
Damages in Bar Room Liability Cases, Arizona
Alcohol-related cases are civil lawsuits, which means that liability is expressed solely in terms of monetary damages. Such damages may be available for quantifiable losses like:
Medical expenses, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, therapy
Lost wages and benefits, including what might reasonably have been earned if total disability caused by the injury had not shortened his or her working life
Replacement costs for damaged property, and
Pain and suffering.
Time Limits of Bar Room Liability Cases, Arizona
Bar room liability cases are subject to a time limit known as the "statute of limitations." In Arizona, such a case may need to be filed within as little as one year from the date of the injury-causing event.
When an intoxicated person causes injury to someone else, many states allow the injured person to seek damages not only from the person who caused the injuries, but also from any vendor or social host who provided the alcohol to the intoxicated person. These cases are covered by "dram shop" laws (so named because alcohol was once sold by a unit of measure called a "dram"). If you or someone you know has suffered from a bar room liability injury in Arizona, please call our lawyers at Mick Levin, P.L.C for a free consultation and to discuss the ways in which we may be able to help you through a difficult time.