Portland Personal Injury Lawyer
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Filing a Dram Shop Notice: You Only Have 180 Days

If you or someone you love has been involved in a drunk driving accident, it may seem fairly obvious that the drunk driver is to blame. What you may not know, however, is that Oregon's dram shop laws also point the finger at the person or establishment that sold them the alcohol. Since it is already illegal to sell alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated and/or under the age of 21, any establishment that fails to abide by this law could be held partially responsible for the damages that are caused as a result—in addition to the drunk driver, themselves. While this not a steadfast rule, the Portland personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Timothy Grabe may be able to bring legal action against a bar, nightclub or restaurant if it can be proven that:

#1: The establishment sold alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxicated and/or under the age of 21.

  • Perhaps the most important aspect of any dram shop case is being able to prove that the establishment had served a patron who was visibly intoxicated and/or under the age of 21—as either would serve as sufficient evidence that the vendor was negligent. If the vendor served alcohol to a minor, however, it would not matter whether or not they were intoxicated.

#2: The driver's intoxication was the "proximate" cause of your injuries and/or property damage.

  • Perhaps the most challenging aspect of any dram shop case is being able to prove that the driver's intoxication was the proximate cause of your injuries. In order to do so, you will need to show that the accident could have been avoided if the establishment had not served alcohol to the driver—which can be difficult to do without the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer.

Think you have a case? If so, it is important to understand that you have a limited amount of time to notify the establishment of your intent to pursue legal action. While most personal injury cases are subject to a two-year statute of limitations, you are required to file a "dram shop notice" within 180 days of the accident (Oregon Code § 471.565)—unless the case pertains to a wrongful death. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you reach out to the Portland personal injury lawyer at our firm as soon as possible. Time could be running out on your case, so there is no reason why you should wait any longer to take action. Call our office today at (503) 825-2115 or submit a free case evaluation form online to get started.