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Yes, bars and restaurants can be liable for drunks and hazards

One common liability complaint that bars and restaurants face is when a customer has gotten drunk and then left the building, getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. The person may then face a DUI if stopped by police, but the liability claims are most common when the person gets into an accident with another party.

In 2013 alone, there were 10,076 fatalities caused by drivers who had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, and many had been drinking out at bars or restaurants before they were involved in the accident. A victim or his or her family may claim that the restaurant or bar should have been aware of the level of intoxication the person was under, especially if the driver admits to drinking at the location beforehand.

Another liability complaint some bars and restaurants face is for activity hazards. These are injuries caused by falling off chairs, tripping on the floor or even getting hurt using a mechanical bull on the premises. While most people assume they're liable if they hurt themselves after choosing to participate in a hazardous activity, a bar can be held liable if someone is hurt due to events on the premises. Most of the time, these facilities have general liability insurance policies that should cover any accidents that occur, but remember to keep your medical information and witness information handy.

If you need to pursue a claim, your attorney can help walk you through the process, although many business owners will be willing to work with you after they see you get injured on their premises to avoid litigation.

Source: Property Casualty 360, "5 liability issues restaurant, bar and tavern owners need to watch out for," Kenneth King, accessed Dec. 22, 2016

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