Car Accident - Restaurant Serves Drunk Driver, Severe Skull Fractures
The 20 year old male plaintiff was a passenger in a car which was struck head on by a drunk driver. The collision was so violent that both cars were barely recognizable. Plaintiff suffered severe personal injuries in the form of facial and skull fractures and underwent surgery for placement of plates and screws. As a result of exceptional work by the surgical team, the plaintiff recovered well from his personal injuries.
The defendant drunk driver was convicted of two charges, operating under the influence of alcohol and operating so as to endanger causing personal injuries. He served six months for these offenses.
The lawsuit filed by plaintiff’s attorney against the driver and the restaurant at which the driver had been drinking alleged negligence against each defendant which caused plaintiff’s personal injuries. The restaurant took the position during the early part of the lawsuit that the defendant driver left the restaurant after approximately two and a half hours, having had five beers.
However, through the course of discovery, it was proven by plaintiff’s attorney that the defendant driver paid his initial check and then changed tables on his way out of the restaurant before consuming five more beers and two shots before his ultimate departure after five hours of drinking. The deposition by plaintiff’s attorney of the waitress who served the defendant driver revealed that she served him all of his alcohol and violated her restaurant’s policy on service of alcoholic beverages when she failed to monitor his alcoholic intake and behavior over the five hour period of drinking.
Information obtained in the course of the lawsuit revealed that the restaurant was not busy on the evening of the accident and that the waitress had ample opportunity to observe the behavior of the defendant driver.
The defendant driver sustained serious personal injuries and was hospitalized. Plaintiff’s attorney obtained defendant’s medical records which confirmed a blood alcohol level of .256, which is more than three times the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle. Plaintiff’s expert forensic toxicologist was prepared to testify that the defendant driver would have been demonstrating visible signs of intoxication before he was served his last drink at the restaurant which is the essential element of proof in liquor liability cases.
In the deposition taken by plaintiff’s attorney the defendant driver admitted that he called his girlfriend from the restaurant an hour before he began driving home. In that phone call the girlfriend told him he sounded drunk and should not drive. The defendant driver was then served additional alcoholic beverages at the restaurant before getting into the car to drive home. Less than ten minutes later the defendant driver crossed into the lane of the plaintiff’s vehicle and caused the horrific head on collision causing plaintiff’s personal injuries.
The restaurant’s insurance carrier paid its policy limits of $1 million after plaintiff’s attorney disclosed the expected testimony of the toxicologist and the court assigned the trial date. The driver’s insurance carrier paid its policy limits of $20,000.
Following a period of rehabilitation from his personal injuries, the plaintiff began his education and training to become a sound engineer and has been successful in that pursuit.
For more information on choosing a car accident lawyer, please refer to our page on Personal Injury Caused by a Motor Vehicle Accident.