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I went to a party with some friends. Our driver drank a lot of wine at the party and on the way back, he ran into a tree, causing me to break several bones. Can I sue the driver?

Published February 6, 2018 by Bruce Millar

Yes. We often think of the “other” driver as being the one at fault in a drunk driving case, but passengers of impaired drivers who are injured because of the driver’s negligence may also seek compensation for their losses.

You may be able to file a claim against the driver and other parties as well, including the host of the party you attended.

Georgia’s dram shop act, which holds bar, restaurant, and store owners responsible for harm done by intoxicated or underage patrons they knowingly sell or serve alcohol to, also includes a similar social host liability. If the driver of the car you were in was younger than the legal drinking age, which is 21, or was already intoxicated when the host of the party served him or her alcohol, you may be able to pursue a third-party claim against the host.

However, Georgia law is governed by a modified comparative fault statute. Under this law, if a drunk driving accident victim is responsible to some degree for their injury, a court will determine the percentage of the person’s fault and reduce the amount of any compensation proportionally. If it’s somehow determined that a person’s fault exceeds that of the driver, or the person could have avoided the consequences caused by the drunk driver’s negligence, no compensation will be awarded.

Your consumption of alcohol followed by getting into a car with someone who you knew was at the same party may have a detrimental effect on your claim. You should discuss your case with an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer who pursues drunk driving accident claims. At The Millar Law Firm we will provide you an initial legal consultation about your case at no charge.

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