Drunk driving accidents often cause catastrophic injuries. In some cases, the entity that served the intoxicated driver may be held liable for the harm ultimately sustained. Other factors can impact liability as well. For example, in many cases, the defense will argue that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent and, therefore their damages should be reduced. Recently, a Florida court discussed the interplay of comparative negligence and Florida’s dram shop laws in a case in which an intoxicated underage driver struck an intoxicated underage pedestrian. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, you might be owed damages, and you should speak to an experienced Florida car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Facts of the Case
It is reported that the injured party, who was intoxicated and underage, was walking across the street when she was struck by a truck driven by a person who was also intoxicated and underage. The injured party suffered critical harm in the accident. The plaintiff, her guardian, subsequently filed claims against the bars that served the injured party and the driver. Default judgment was entered against the bar that served the injured party, and the court ruled that the bar that served the driver could not argue comparative negligence. Following the trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff close to $29 million. The bar that served the driver appealed.
Comparative Negligence and Florida’s Dram Shop Laws
On appeal, the appellate court ruled that the bar that served the driver should have been able to argue comparative negligence as a defense. Thus, it reversed the trial court ruling and remanded the case for further proceedings. Continue reading