Belleville Dram Shop Lawyer

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Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, Will Fight to Help Get Your Life Back

It’s simple. Alcohol consumption increases the odds of injury, both to the intoxicated individual and bystanders. Dram shop laws are in place to protect bystanders and hold shops, restaurants, and bars liable when they serve intoxicated individuals. Hit by a drunk driver? You may have more than one party you are able to sue.

What Is Dram Shop Law?

Generally, dram shop laws make a business that sells alcoholic drinks to a patron who is obviously intoxicated (or close to it) strictly liable to anyone injured by the drunk patron. Strict liability means that the business can be found liable as long as there is proof that they served alcohol to the drunk patron. You would not have to prove negligence – that the business continued serving alcohol after the patron was visibly intoxicated, for example.

In Illinois, the dram shop law is entitled the “Liquor Control Act.” Again, the claimant must only prove that the vendor sold alcohol to the patron. The claim may be brought for personal injury, property damage, and loss of society, meaning one’s loss of companionship or social relationships.

To break it down, these are the facts an injured person must prove in order to succeed in a dram shop case:

  • The person who caused the injury was intoxicated at the time the injury occurred.
  • The vendor sold or gave alcohol to the intoxicated person, who consumed it.
  • The alcohol consumed by the intoxicated person caused his or her intoxication.
  • The victim’s injuries resulted, at least in part, from the person’s intoxication.

In addition to driving while intoxicated, dram shop laws can apply to other causes of personal injury. For example, a patron who is attacked by another patron in a bar fight or other physical altercation could claim damages from the establishment under the dram shop law. The law would apply if the attacking patron was served alcohol at the establishment before the attack.

Dram Shop Law Cases in the News

An accident that occurred in McHenry County was reported by the Chicago Tribune and provides a good example of how dram shop law cases can proceed.

In this case, a Crystal Lake man crashed his truck into a sedan, killing himself and the sedan’s driver. Before getting behind the wheel, the man had been participating in a pub-crawl, where he had been over-served every step of the way. The family of the sedan driver sued three separate establishments, which they say all contributed to the truck driver’s intoxication, and thus to their family member’s death.

Illinois’s dram shop law applies here because the man was served alcohol at each establishment, that alcohol contributed to his intoxication, and his intoxication caused him to crash into the sedan. It remains to be seen if the family will prevail in court, or potentially settle with the establishments.

Get Compensation for Your Injuries

If you have been injured by an intoxicated person, whether or not he was driving, the business that served him alcohol should be held liable for your injuries and medical expenses. After all, restaurants and bars have a duty to promote the safety of their patrons and the community. When they breach that trust, they deserve to be held responsible.

You deserve just compensation for your injuries and medical expenses. We can help.

The dram shop attorneys at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC have ample experience building successful dram shop cases. We know exactly how the business and its insurance companies will look at your case, because we used to work for clients just like them, and we can counter their every argument. We will build a case that proves the liability of the restaurant, bar, or shop.

“I highly recommend John Hipskind for any court issue big or small … Very prompt in returning all calls/emails & takes a personal interest in your case with speedy results. Very much appreciated”
– Vanessa Johnson

Our firm was built upon a strong belief that client commitment comes first, and winning outcomes are the best thing for our clients. These beliefs have earned us more than 100 5-star reviews from past clients, due to our genuine compassion and proven skill.

Limits on Illinois Dram Shop Law

The State of Illinois places both time and money limits on dram shop cases. For claims brought after 1998, the dollar amount caps were set at $45,000 for injury and $55,000 for lost support/companionship. However, the statute allows for an annual increase and/or decrease of these caps based on changes in the consumer price index. When discussing your dram shop law case, Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, can review the current cap amount with you.

There is also a statute of limitations regarding dram shop cases, meaning the claim must be filed within a certain amount of time. Dram shop cases fall under the personal injury category, so they must generally be filed within one year of the date of injury. This time limit is enforced for minors under age 21 as well as adults. Be sure to reach out to Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, right away, so we can begin working for your compensation.



We used to work for big insurance companies. Now, we’re solely focused on helping victims like you. We know all their tricks, and can counter every single one. We have a record of winning dram shop law cases.


As a client, you will have anytime access to both John Hipskind and Brady McAninch’s cell phones. Call us day or night for an update on your case, or just to ask a question. In a legal emergency, you need to be able to reach your attorney.


We work on a contingency basis. That means you don’t pay us a dime until we win. We are as invested in your case’s result as you are.

Let our Belleville personal injury attorneys review your case and figure out how best to represent you. Schedule a free consultation today! You won’t pay a dime until we win.