May 1st, 2017 Posted by
With summer right around the corner, you may find yourself cooling off with a few drinks at one of our many local watering holes around town. Relaxing and unwinding with friends can be enjoyable this time of year, but unfortunately, overserved patrons can be dangerous. Avoiding the obnoxious drunk guy looking to pick a fight is often harder than it should be, especially if the bar continues to serve the drunk patron.
If you find yourself seeking treatment for an injury sustained at a bar or restaurant, you may be entitled to recover actual and punitive damages. Under South Carolina dram shop law, establishments are liable for injuries caused by an overserved patron. Prior to contacted a personal injury attorney, make sure you file an incident report with the establishment where your injury occurred, as well as a police report with the local authorities. This will help create a clear and concise timeline of events. Part of the attorney’s evaluation of your case will be to fully investigate the incident to learn if the establishment has a history of overserving patrons, encourages the unruly behavior that lead to your injuries, failed to provide adequate staff and security, and other details that may help you recover the costs of your medical bills, compensate you for lost wages and pain and suffering, and often times, punitive damages.
Here are some steps to take to make sure you are treated fairly and have sufficient evidence to pursue your case:
1. Notify the establishment of your injuries.
Ideally, notify them immediately, but if you have to seek immediate treatment, make sure you follow-up with the establishment and request that they file an internal incident report.
2. File a police report.
If the local authorities haven’t been notified by the establishment already, make sure you contact them personally and file a formal report so they can investigate and follow-up with all parties involved.
3. Reduce to writing your specific memory of the event.
Note the time of your injuries and the events that led up to them. Note who you were with and who was around you, and collect their contact information so your attorney can gather witness statements.
4. Take pictures of your surroundings and injuries.
To the extent possible, have a friend stay behind and take pictures of the immediate aftermath of your injuries, including where you were injured, by whom, and the atmosphere of the bar in general. Also, have someone photo your injuries as well.
Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people in bars and nightclubs. Follow the above steps and reach out to a personal injury attorney to seek the justice you deserve. If you have any questions about your case and would like a free consultation, call me at (843) 225-2520 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.