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If you have been injured by an intoxicated person, the tavern that served the intoxicated person may be liable. Under the Illinois Dram Shop Act, when a tavern serves alcohol to a person who becomes intoxicated and then causes an injury to someone else, the tavern may be liable for the injury.
Dram shop liability comes up in two situations. One type of dram shop case involves injuries that happen on the tavern premises or nearby when someone has been drinking and then commits an assault. The other type of dram shop case occurs when a person that has been drinking in a bar becomes a drunk driver who causes an injury accident. The injury victim may have a cause of action against the drunk driver, and he may also have a cause of action against the tavern that over-served the drunk driver.
Taverns can also be held liable for the negligent actions of the bar's employees. This sometimes comes about when the security staff or "bouncers" act in furtherance of their job duties but in an overzealous and excessive manner, causing an injury to a patron. Bars can also be liable under premises liability theories when the employees' negligence creates a dangerous condition.
In order to prove a case under the Illinois Dram Shop Act, the Plaintiff must be able to prove the following elements: