Drunk or Impaired Driving Lawyer in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Lawyers For Victims Of Drunk Driving Accidents In The Maritime Provinces

Auto accidents occur daily in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Some of the most serious accidents involve drunk or impaired motorists. These accidents frequently cause life-altering injuries, thus creating seemingly insurmountable challenges for the victim. These accidents can also result in fatalities. As the victim of a drunk driving accident, it is important you are represented by an experienced lawyer.

Wagners is a personal injury law firm that represents those who have been injured in auto and drunk driving accidents. We are ready to help you seek justice and provide the support you are seeking.

Possible Injuries from Drunk Driving Accident

Accidents that are caused by an intoxicated driver can result in serious injuries. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause a very harmful situation that changes the victims’ lives forever. There are drivers who don’t even show any warning signs of being intoxicated. However, any form of drinking and driving is dangerous and illegal. Research shows that it takes about 30 minutes to two hours for any alcohol you’ve consumed to be absorbed into your bloodstream and begin slowing you down and delaying cognitive abilities. This is often why drunk drivers have an impaired judgement and are slow to react to road emergencies. Some of the most common types of injuries we’ve seen in DUI cases include:

  • Broken limbs: These injuries result in broken and crushed bones, which require multiple surgeries and may lead to physical disabilities or even loss of limbs.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: These are serious damages to the head and brain due to the impact during a car accident. These injuries often result in a coma, cognition issues, and motor function.
  • Back and spinal cord injuries: From back strains to spine fractures, spinal disc injuries, and sprains, car accidents can cause serious complications on the spinal cord and back.
  • Psychological injuries: Victims of car accidents may also experience depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders as a result of the incident.
  • Lacerations and contusions

Drunk driving accidents not only physically and mentally incapacitate people but also result in death.

Liquor Liability 101

If you own a business that serves alcohol or host an event and you will be serving alcohol, it’s important to understand what the law requires and protect yourself. Liquor liability insurance was designed to offer this protection against losses or damages that occur as a result of alcohol-related accidents. This coverage is a requirement for businesses that manufacture, sell, serve, or facilitate the use or purchase of alcohol.

The laws on liquor liability vary from province to province, which may create some confusion about the need to acquire this coverage. We’ll go over some basics to shed more light on this subject.

“Dram Shop” Laws

These are laws that are enacted at the province level and apply to any business that serves or sells alcohol to intoxicated persons who later cause injuries or property damage to others. Since these laws are enacted at the province level, it is important for policyholders who have establishments across multiple provinces to ensure they comply in all regions. If a visibly intoxicated person causes harm to themselves or others in a bar, liquor store, restaurant or even social club or a private event, the owner of the establishment will be held liable. This law allows third party victims of drunken behaviour in such establishments to sue the property owners or staff who sold the alcohol to the intoxicated person and possibly receive damages. The establishment may be sued for excessively serving the customer under “dram shop” laws.

This law also covers incidents where establishments are selling liquor to minors, selling without a license, or during after-hours. In Ontario and the rest of Canada, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08. When a driver is caught above this BAC limit, he/she is deemed to have committed a criminal offence. Additionally, intoxicated drivers within 0.05 to 0.08 BAC can still be charged with a penalty for being within the warn range. Drunken drivers who exceed these limits will not only face criminal charges but may also be sued in a civil court for injuries sustained because of their drunk driving or reckless actions. The victims may not only sue the drunk driver but, in many cases, may also be able to sue the restaurant or bar that supplied them with alcohol.

Liquor Legal Liability

For any business in a province with dram shop laws, it’s important to protect yourself with liquor liability insurance. This coverage protects businesses that serve, manufacture, or sell alcohol from being held liable when an intoxicated person who was served or sold alcohol in their establishment causes bodily injury or property damage to a third party. This coverage is an important requirement for bars, restaurants, convenience stores, wineries, and breweries that sell or serve alcohol regardless of their size. All these businesses are exposed to liquor liability and are sometimes legally required to get this coverage before they are given a license or commercial lease.

The law simply holds businesspeople accountable for contributing to a person’s intoxication. A third-party victim may file a lawsuit against the impaired individual or the establishment that serves, sells, or manufactures the liquor. If successful, the injured party can receive damages from both the establishment and the intoxicated individual responsible for their injuries or property damage. However, proving fault of the establishment is often a difficult task. For instance, it may be impossible for the patron to know whether the individual was drinking on an empty stomach or has a low alcohol tolerance.

Host Liquor Liability Insurance Policies

When a company hosts a social event where it serves alcohol to its employees, guests, customers, or prospects, the host liquor liability insurance coverage protects them from being held liable when an intoxicated person causes harm within their property. This form of coverage is often included as part of a general liability policy. It covers incidents such as guests in a social event who become intoxicated and cause property damage or bodily injury.

For instance, if an intoxicated guest causes a car accident on their way home, the injured person can sue the hosting company for providing alcohol to the intoxicated individual and allowing him/her to drive home. Since the company doesn’t manufacture or sell alcohol as part of their operations, having a host liquor liability coverage included in the general liability policy ensures that any medical bills or car repairs are covered by the insurer. The host liquor liability insurance can also cover lawyer’s fees and any other damages ordered by the court when a victim files a lawsuit against the policyholder.

Injury Lawyer for Drunk Or Impaired Driving Accidents in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Drunk driving accident cases have an added complexity. The case can quickly become challenging if the driver is unidentified (for example in a hit-and-run case) or if multiple vehicles are involved in the crash. While drunk or impaired drivers may also face criminal charges, we at Wagners are focused on the personal injury aspect of your claim. Our lawyers will stand by your side, handling all legal components of your case so you can direct your attention toward dealing with your injuries and begin recovering.

The injury lawyers at Wagners are very knowledgeable of the law and have been successful in representing injured victims in the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. We have a clear understanding of the unique legal aspects of drunk driving cases and are ready to go to trial, if necessary, for your case.


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