According to recently published data, approximately one third of all road fatalities in Oklahoma involve drunk driving. If you are injured by a drunk driver in Oklahoma, you may be able to sue a number of parties, including the bar that served the drunk driver.
Basis for server liability in Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s Supreme Court has held that if you are injured by a drunk driver, you can sue the bar that served them for negligence. A person or company is negligent if they:
- Have a legal obligation to avoid doing a certain act.
- Violate that duty.
- Cause your injury.
In Oklahoma, a bar that serves a visibly intoxicated individual violates its duty of care to protect third parties from harm by that person if they get behind the wheel. Therefore, if you are injured by a drunk driver, it is always important to verify who served them alcohol before the accident.
Behavior that can give rise to liability
The Oklahoma Supreme Court compiled a list of behaviors by bar owners that can give rise to drunk-driving liability, including:
- Not properly training employees
- Failing to keep a running tab to verify how much alcohol customers are drinking
- Not having a specific policy about how much alcohol can be served to customers
- Allowing intoxicated patrons to leave via a side exit
One of the most important elements of any damages claim is the question of who you can sue. This is especially true for claims involving drunk drivers, in which the driver may not always be in a position to compensate you for your harm. Our experienced team of Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers can help you to identify the parties responsible for your harm so you can obtain the full damages you deserve.
Ryan Y. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Cunningham devotes his practice to protecting the rights of injured Oklahoma residents. In addition to assisting injured clients, Mr. Cunningham endeavors to improve personal injury representation by speaking on issues related to personal injury law to attorneys in continuing legal education courses and to law students. Learn More