Who is Responsible for a Drunk Driving Accident in New Jersey?

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If an individual gets behind the wheel of a car after drinking and causes an accident, you may be able to hold this driver responsible for the resulting damages. However, other parties may be held responsible as well, including the individual or establishment that supplied the alcohol. Read on to learn more about drunk driving accidents in New Jersey.

Social host laws in New Jersey:

New Jersey has social host liability laws. These laws allow an injured person to pursue damages from a social host who provided alcohol at a party or similar event if a guest goes on to cause an alcohol-related accident. In order to bring a successful claim, the injured party generally must prove:

  • the person who caused the injuries was visibly intoxicated in the presence of the host
  • the situations created an “unreasonable risk” of harm to life or property
  • the injury resulted from a motor vehicle accident caused by the intoxicated person who was served by the social host

Additionally, if a social host negligently serves someone under the legal drinking age who then causes harm to another as a result, the injured party might have a claim against the host for negligence.

Dram shop laws in New Jersey:

New Jersey has dram shop laws, which allow the victim of a drunk driving accident to take legal action against a bar or establishment for overserving the driver who caused the accident. In order to take legal action, you will have to prove that the bar continued to serve an individual who was visibly intoxicated. Signs of visible intoxication include slurred speech, glassy eyes, stumbling, and more. A bar can also be held responsible if they serve an individual under the age of 21 and this individual is involved in an accident as a result. In order to provide this proof, it is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you fulfill the burden of proof necessary to recover compensation.

What is the statute of limitations?

In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is generally two years from the date of the accident. Failing to file within two years will mean forfeiting your right to pursue legal action, therefore losing your opportunity to recover the compensation you need and deserve.

Contact our firm today to discuss your case with a skilled and dedicated personal injury attorney.


To learn more about how we can help you after sustaining an injury due to no fault of your own, call the Wilton Law Firm today at 732-275-9555 or contact us online.