Portland Liquor Liability Claims Lawyer

Were you injured by a drunk driver who was served alcohol by a bar or tavern when they were visibly intoxicated?

Portland liquor liability claims lawyer Travis Mayor specializes in pursuing justice against negligent bars and restaurants that serve alcohol to visibility intoxicated patrons who then leave the premises and cause injury and death to innocent people. Excessive consumption of alcohol plays a large part in many Oregon personal injury cases including drunken driver car accidents. 

To speak with attorney Travis Mayor about the details of your case use our Contact form or call (503) 610-0005. Consultations are always free and confidential.

Oregon Liquor Liability Case Examples:

  • Case Example 1: A lawsuit was filed against a tavern for service of alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron who left the tavern in her vehicle, crashed and caused the death of another person.
  • Case Example 2: A $400,000 settlement was obtained for the victim of a drunken driver car accident.  The drunk driver had been served alcohol at a local bar while he was visibly intoxicated.  This particular bar had a history of trouble with the OLCC and had been serving alcohol to the intoxicated patron for hours before he left the bar in a vehicle.

What is a dram shop?

Oregon_Dram_ShopThe term “dram shop” originates from old English law.  A dram shop was a tavern where alcohol and other “spirits” were sold in small units called a “dram.”  Today, Oregon’s dram shop law applies to all commercial providers of alcohol that operate under liquor licenses (“licensees”), which includes bars, taverns, restaurants, nightclubs, liquor stores, private clubs, grocery stores, convenience stores, stadiums, entertainment venues, and other similar establishments.  The Oregon liquor liability law, or dram shop law, also applies to “social hosts” who are private individuals and homeowners who furnish alcohol to their guests.

What types of compensation are available in Oregon Liquor Liability cases?

People injured due to the over service of visibly intoxicated patrons can seek the same damages against the commercial alcohol provider or social host they would be allowed to seek in any other Oregon personal injury case.  These damages include:

  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and income
  • Permanent injury and scarring
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional and psychological distress
  • Loss of consortium

At Mayor Law, LLC, Portland liquor liability claims lawyer Travis Mayoraggressively pursues personal injury and wrongful death claims against drunk drivers, their insurance companies and the negligent bar or tavern that contributed to the drunk driver’s intoxication. It is important to move quickly. A Portland Wrongful Death Attorney can help obtain important evidence from witnesses, law enforcement, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC”) and the District Attorney’s Office to maximize the value of the client’s case.

If you or someone you love was injured or killed in an Oregon accident caused by the service of alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person, then you need an experienced personal injury lawyer who is willing and ready to try your dram shop case to a jury.  In reality, most drunk driving car accident and dram shop cases will settle and not go to trial.  But the only way to maximize the value for the injured victim is to prepare the case for trial and pursue punitive damages when possible.  Evidence of the drunk driver’s intoxication such as video footage from the tavern, police officer testimony, high blood alcohol levels, and field sobriety test video footage can be compelling.  This evidence of extreme intoxication can even make jurors in Oregon’s more conservative venues angry and willing to give a large verdict.

Liquor Liability Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We invite you to read answers to some commonly asked questions by clicking on the links below. To speak with a knowledgeable lawyer about your personal situation please contact our Portland law firm at (503) 610-0005.

I was hit by a drunk driver; is the establishment that served the liquor liable for my injuries under Oregon liquor liability laws?

Answer: Yes, if you were injured in an accident where the at-fault party was drunk or substantially impaired, then the commercial establishment or social host that served alcohol to the at-fault party may be liable for your injuries.  Oregon Revised Statute, ORS 471.565, governs this area of law and is call Oregon’s Dram Shop Law.  This statute makes it illegal for commercial providers of alcohol and social hosts to serve alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated.  Visible signs of intoxication may include slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, lack of coordination, slowed or delayed reaction time, aggression, being loud and other outward symptoms that can be seen or heard.  Owners, managers, bartenders, wait staff and hosts all have a responsibility to carefully monitor the behavior of patrons and guests who are served alcohol on the premises for signs of visible intoxication.  If a patron or guest is showing signs of visible intoxication and the liquor licensee or host continues to serve alcohol then they may be liable for any personal injury subsequently caused by the intoxicated person.

Do Oregon Liquor Liability or Dram Shop cases differ from personal injury claims?

Answer: Oregon liquor liability law is more complex than a personal injury case because it has a number of added requirements and exceptions.  For instance, just like most Oregon personal injury cases, the statute of limitations for dram shop claims is two years from the date of injury.  But the Oregon liquor liability law also requires the injured victim to provide written notice within 180 days of the injury-causing accident to the provider of alcohol about the circumstances of the accident and injuries suffered.  This is called formal notice.  If the intoxicated person caused a death then the written notice requirement is extended to one year.  Injured victims will also be barred from bringing a successful dram shop claim against the provider of alcohol if the victim “substantially” contributed to the intoxication.  This provision prevents people from becoming voluntarily intoxicated and then making an injury claim against the tavern who served them alcohol.  Oregon law also requires people seeking damages for personal injuries in dram shop cases to prove their claim by “clear and convincing” evidence, which is a higher burden of proof than the normal civil “by a preponderance of the evidence standard.”  These special requirements make Oregon liquor liability accident claims harder than other Oregon personal injury claims. Portland Liquor Liability Lawyer Travis Mayor has a thorough understanding of how to prove liability against the offending alcohol provider and maximize the financial recovery for victims of irresponsible bars and taverns.

Why should I consider making dram shop or Oregon liquor liability claim against the provider of alcohol?

Answer: The simple fact is that alcohol-related injuries in Oregon tend to be very serious.  Drunk drivers cause at least one-third of the motor vehicle fatalities in Oregon.  Drunk drivers also cause a significant amount of non-fatal crashes and injuries.  Unfortunately, many drunk drivers are driving while uninsured.  Many of them are repeat offenders who are not supposed to be driving in the first place.  Of the drunk drivers who are insured, many of them are driving with less than adequate liability insurance for the damage and personal injuries they cause Oregon drivers.  Fortunately, the Oregon liquor liability law requires bars, taverns and other commercial providers of alcohol to carry mandatory Oregon liquor liability insurance of $300,000.  Note this is the minimum amount of liability insurance that businesses serving alcohol must carry.  It is common for businesses that provide alcohol to carry policies that provide $1 million in liability insurance for dram shop claims.  Hiring a Liquor Liability Claims Lawyer who knows how to win Oregon dram shop cases after a drunk driving accident can make all of the difference in whether you will recover financially for your injuries or be left uncompensated by the uninsured or underinsured drunk driver.

Is the Bar or Tavern who provided the alcohol solely responsible?

Answer: No. In Oregon, drunk drivers and intoxicated people who negligently cause personal injuries and death are just as responsible as the offending providers of alcohol.  The victims of drunk drivers can recover from the drunk driver’s auto insurance policy, assuming the drunk driver has car insurance.  The minimum amount of motor vehicle liability insurance coverage required under Oregon law is $25,000.  Victims can also pursue the personal assets of the drunk driver if the driver does not have adequate insurance.  Oftentimes, however, in these situations, the drunk driver does not have much in the way of individual assets and wealth.  These unfortunate situations are not all that uncommon.  Fortunately, Oregon’s dram shop law holds negligent providers of alcohol responsible for any damage caused because of service to a visibly intoxicated patron.  In these circumstances, it is important to retain a Liquor Liability Claims Lawyer who can evaluate whether you have a viable dram shop claim against a bar, tavern or social host as well as the intoxicated driver who caused your injuries.

Can I seek punitive damages against the provider of alcohol under Oregon Liquor Liability Law?

Answer: Yes, depending on the particular circumstances of your case.  It is very common that victims of drunk drivers can legally pursue punitive damages against the drunk driver because the driver’s conduct is grossly negligent and reckless.  Punitive damages are another form of compensation that can be sought, which are intended to punish the offending drunk driver as well as to deter similar conduct by other drivers.  Punitive damages and the threat of punitive damages typically make drunken driving car accident verdicts and settlements higher than normal Oregon car accident injury cases.  Oregon liquor liability law also allows personal injury victims to pursue punitive damages against bars, taverns and other providers of alcohol as the service to a visibility intoxicated person is grossly negligent.  For instance, if a bartender continues to serve alcohol to a patron who is visibly intoxicated when it is obvious to everyone that the customer should be cut off and sent home in a taxi-cab; and that drunken patron drives away from the bar and injures or kills someone on the road, then the bar would be subject to a claim for punitive damages in addition to all of the other types of compensation allowed under the law.  Punitive damages are not automatic though.  There are special pleading and evidentiary requirements. Portland liquor liability claims lawyer Travis Mayor has the experience required to evaluate and pursue punitive damages in your Oregon liquor liability or dram shop claim.

Liquor liability claims lawyer, Travis Mayor — Getting Results for Victims Injured by Someone’s Intoxication

Portland liquor liability claims lawyer Travis MayorAt Mayor Law, LLC it is our goal to help the victims of drunk driving accidents achieve justice and restore their lives in Portland.  Attorney Travis Mayor will help you by reducing the hassles and inconvenience while you recover, while maximizing your financial compensation.  Travis Mayor has recovered millions of dollars for his DUI car accident clients.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.  At Mayor Law, LLC, we fight for justice for injury victims of Oregon drunk driving accidents, and we fight to win! You pay nothing up front and nothing unless you win your car accident case.


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