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Imagine that an intoxicated person injures someone in a car accident. Can the injured person seek compensation from the intoxicated person, as well as the third party vendor that provided alcohol or over-served them? According to Dram Shop law, they can. As one of 30 states following a Dram Shop liability law, Georgia Code section 51-1-40 allows an injured person to hold a seller of alcohol (including a bar, liquor store or restaurant) liable if the vendor:

  • “willfully, knowingly and unlawfully” serves alcohol to a minor under age 21
  • “knowingly” serves alcohol to a person who is “noticeably intoxicated,” and
  • the establishment knows that the minor or intoxicated person will soon be driving a motor vehicle

Social Host Liability

In reference to the final section of Georgia’s code listed above, social host liability is part of the same statute that permits plaintiffs to sue vendors for injuries in court. As an example, suppose a woman named Jane stops by a friend’s home after work. She becomes noticeably drunk, but her friend (also the host) continues providing Jane with alcohol, even though she knows that she will soon be driving home. A short time later, Jane gets in her car to drive home, tragically hitting a pedestrian. In this scenario, dram shop law allows for the pedestrian to file a claim against Jane and the friend that hosted her (even though her friend is not considered a vendor).

In the case of social host liability, however, it must be established that the host knew the guest would be driving soon. Thus, while a person might have a reasonable claim against the intoxicated driver, it doesn’t mean that he will also have a claim against a host.

Experienced Dram Shop Claims Attorneys

At Burnside Law Firm, we understand that certain circumstances can be used to establish vicarious liability on the person or vendor that served a drunk driver. As experienced Dram Shop claims attorneys, we have successfully pursued Dram Shop actions against bar owners in the past.

If an intoxicated driver has injured you or a loved one, and you believe that a vendor or business has over served them, contact Burnside Law Firm in Augusta today.

Posted on behalf of Burnside Law Firm LLP

Contact Us

Augusta

2919 Professional Pkwy

Augusta, GA, 30907

Phone: (706) 432-8320

Athens

325 North Milledge Avenue

Athens, GA, 30601

Phone: (706) 227-4264

Atlanta

3333 Piedmont Rd NE, #2050

Atlanta, GA, 30305

Phone: (404) 736-9282

We have recovered millions for our clients

The attorneys at Burnside Law Firm LLP have over 30 years of collective experience handling personal injury claims. Over that time, we have helped hundreds of injured people recover the compensation they deserve and need in order to begin putting their lives back together. This list is just a sample of the recoveries we have obtained for some of our clients here and during our time at our former firm, Burnside Wall LLP. Obviously, success in obtaining significant judgments and settlements for other clients is no guarantee of success in your case. Each case must be evaluated and handled based on the individual merits of that particular case. To discuss the facts of your case and learn more about your legal rights, contact one of the personal injury attorneys at Burnside Law Firm LLP for a free initial consultation.

Medical Malpractice / Head Injury

$4,500,000 settlement

Pharmacy & Prescription Error

$1,800,000 settlement

Medical Malpractice / Anesthesia Injury

$1,600,000 settlement

Auto Accident / Multiple Fractures

$1,250,000 judgment

Auto Accident / Wrongful Death

$1,000,000 settlement

Dram Shop / Wrongful Death

$1,000,000 settlement

Read more

Meet The Team

Thomas R Burnside III

Thomas R. Burnside III is a personal injury lawyer who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have suffered injury as a result of automobile collisions, trucking accidents, medical malpractice, work related accidents or other causes. With over 20 years of experience in personal injury law at both the trial and appellate court levels, Attorney Burnside has represented people with brain and head trauma...

Meet Thomas Burnside

Mark B. Williamson

Mark B. Williamson has been engaged in a civil litigation practice since 1997, both at the trial and appellate court levels, focusing primarily on personal injury related cases. The personal injury litigation focuses on the representation of individuals who have been injured or damaged as the result of automobile accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, and workplace injuries.

Meet Mark Williamson

Garon Muller

Garon Muller is a trial lawyer who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have been seriously injured or damaged through the negligence or recklessness of others, including automobile collisions, workplace injuries, premises injuries, or defective products. Before beginning his practice in the representation of injured individuals, Mr. Muller served the community as an Assistant District Attorney...

Meet Garon Muller

Our Client Reviews

Burnside Law Firm

5.0 / 5.0

Based on 38 reviews

Erin Wren

After my car accident they helped me every step of the way! They were up front and answered any questions I had! They negotiated the insurance and got a higher settlement than was offered! I would definitely use them again!

Terri Hawkins

My husband and I had an awesome experience in dealing with Attorney Mark Williamson and the entire staff at the Burnside Law Firm. We received exceptional service and was very pleased with the outcome. Mr. Williamson and his colleagues were very helpful and assisted us from the beginning to the end. We highly recommend the Burnside Law Firm.

Damien Lanclos

I have known Thomas Burnside and his family for years as I grew up with Thomas. I have recently had the pleasure of meeting his partner, Mark Williamson. There is an aphorism that I have found to be universally true, "A company is known by its people." Thomas, Mark and their staff are great people. I have leaned on Thomas for legal advice not related to his expertise and he has referred me to others who have taken good care of my personal and business interests.

Debbie Walker

In November 2017, I was in a car accident and I decided to seek out legal assistance. I chose to go with Burnside Law Firm, LLP because of their five star rating. My inital consultation was with attorney, Mr. Garon Muller. I knew immediately that I wanted Mr. Muller to take my case. His professionalism and expertise in personal injury made my decision easy. Mr. Muller maintained his professionalism throughout my case. He kept me updated on a regular basis via telephone or email. He was always available to me when I call. I did not have to wait 24 hours to get a call back from him. I would greatly recommend Mr. Muller and the Burnside Law Firm, LLP.

Rick Estep

Burnside Law Firm is who you want to represent you. Mr. Muller came to our house for a free consultation without hesitation. He guided us and overcame every obstacle we encountered. He secured the maximum insurance limits for us and we couldn't be more happy. If you are injured, DO NOT attempt to recoup compensation without the expertise of a trusted, skilled and able law firm to be your voice. THANK YOU MR. MULLER!!!

Jennifer Malonjao

Burnside Law Firm LLP is one of the best law firms in Augusta. Before starting my lawsuit I checked out a few places and Burnside felt to be the best. They did not let me down. Mr. Mark Williamson was my attorney and throughout my entire case he was extremely easy to talk to and I felt like I was treated like a person, and not just a check. He worked very hard on my case and I feel as if I could not have received the settlement I did with anyone else. He made sure my husband and I knew everything that was going on throughout the entire process. I will always recommend Burnside to anyone that needs legal assistance. The entire staff is very friendly and welcoming from your first step in the door on day one to your last step out the door when your case is complete. I am beyond satisfied.

Joseph Mitchell

One of the best experiences I have ever had, friendly staff, my lawyer Mark Williamson was very ho est and detailed in what the procedures he was able to offer. I will definitely come back with anything I need again. I highly recommend

Alexander Hughes

Garon Muller with Burnside Law Firm makes client satisfaction his priority. Mr. Muller made sure that I had a lucid understanding during every discussion. He never made a decision without my input and made me feel like we were partners. Garon Muller was very professional and push for the maximum dollar amount from the insurance company. Me and my family considered ourselves blessed to have been represented by Garon Muller with Burnside Law Firm. We highly recommend Garon Muller and Burnside Law Firm! Burnside Law Firm staff are exceptional and exceeded our expectations.

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Augusta

2919 Professional Pkwy

Augusta, GA, 30907

Phone: (706) 432-8320

Athens

325 North Milledge Avenue

Athens, GA, 30601

Phone: (706) 227-4264

Atlanta

3333 Piedmont Rd NE, #2050

Atlanta, GA, 30305

Phone: (404) 736-9282