Liquor Liability/Dram Shop Liability Attorneys

When someone is killed or seriously injured by a drunk driver or in any other kind of incident caused by someone else being intoxicated, the focus is usually on the person who drank and then decided to get behind the wheel.  Maine law recognizes that irresponsible decisions by bartenders and other alcohol servers can be just as harmful.  Bars and bartenders have a financial incentive to serve alcohol.  

The Maine Liquor Liability Act (MLLA) provides a remedy for those injured as the result of over-serving of alcohol, but there are strict guidelines that must be followed.  The most important restriction limits the time in which someone who has been injured (or their family) can bring a claim against a bar or other alcohol server.  Before a lawsuit can be filed, a written notice of claim must be served on all defendants within 180 days of the date of the server’s negligent or reckless conduct.  The notice must specifically describe the time, place, and circumstances of any resulting damages.  Failure to provide the required notice is grounds for dismissal of the injured person’s case.

While the MLLA most frequently applies in cases involving drunk driving accidents, it can apply in other contexts too, including assaults, drownings, or any other incident in which a person’s level of intoxication is a proximate cause of serious injuries or death.  No matter the circumstances, however, the same strict time requirements apply.  Six months is a short time to pull it together when you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed as the result of someone else’s irresponsible intoxication.

If you find yourself in this situation, it’s imperative that you seek legal help right away to make sure your rights are protected.  At Briggs & Wholey our attorneys will put their experience representing victims of drunk driving and over-serving to work to achieve the best possible outcome for you.