The state of New Jersey particularly cracks down on drunk driving incidents during Halloween. So if you were involved in an accident because another driver negligently drove while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then you may be able to recover your damages via a personal injury claim. Specifically, there are New Jersey laws in place, such as the dram shop laws, that will work in your favor. Read on to discover who is responsible for your Halloween drunk driving accident and how a seasoned Morris County drunk driving accident attorney at Lutz Injury Law can help you in making this determination.
Do dram shop laws determine who is responsible for a Halloween drunk driving accident?
Firstly, a dram shop is a bar or otherwise a commercial establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold. So, New Jersey’s dram shop laws are in place to provide financial compensation to you, as a victim of a drunk driving accident, from a dram shop. This is so long as you can prove that the dram shop exhibited negligent behavior and was partly to blame for your accident, along with your subsequent injuries and damages. That is, you must prove one of the following as true:
- The dram shop overserved an already intoxicated patron, otherwise known as the drunk driver involved in your accident.
- Visible signs of intoxication include glassy eyes, slurred speech, stumbling, etc.
- The dram shop served alcohol to a patron who was under the age of 21.
What should I do if I am involved in a Halloween drunk driving accident?
Once you establish the negligence of the dram shop, you must establish the negligence of the drunk driver. You can collect a reasonable amount of evidence by following the below procedure immediately after your accident occurs:
- Call 911: a law enforcement officer will arrive on the scene to dispatch an ambulance, conduct an official police report, administer a breathalyzer test, administer field sobriety tests, etc.
- Document the scene: take photos and videos of the scene, your injuries, and your damages.
- Collect contact information: ask the drunk driver for their name, phone number, driver’s license number, insurance company name, insurance policy number, etc. Ask for the contact information of the present witnesses, as well.
- Seek medical attention: attend to medical treatment as soon as it is available at the scene. Also, go to the hospital afterward and schedule follow-up appointments with your physician.
- Hire an attorney: an attorney will be able to obtain further evidence, such as security camera footage.
Nevertheless, we understand just how complicated this personal injury claim can become, as law enforcement may be simultaneously pursuing criminal charges against the drunk driver. Rest assured, a competent Morris County personal injury attorney is ready to step in to assist you. Give us a call today.