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Three Perfect Examples of Why You Need Liquor Liability Insurance

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As you already know, you will face numerous risks when you serve alcohol to patrons. There’s really no way around it. You can be prepared with the proper training and experience, but you can’t account for unknown variables such as the actions of the people you serve.

From fatal car accidents to bodily injuries, you need to be ready for worst-case scenarios. The best thing you can do is safeguard yourself and your livelihood by carrying liquor liability insurance.

Here are three of those worst-case scenarios. In each case, the person serving the alcohol was held liable.


Jonathan Palacios was escorted to his car after drinking at a liquor establishment in Corpus Christi, Texas. The intoxicated Palacios ended up driving his car in the opposite direction on the Texas State Highway 358 and hit 18-year-old driver, Bryant Hernandez head-on. Unfortunately, both drivers were killed in this accident. The intoxicated driver, Palacios had a blood alcohol level of 0.24, which is three times the legal limit in that state.

Bryant Hernandez’s parents sued the liquor establishment over the fatal accident their son experienced, due to the intoxicated driver. The court evidence showed that Palacios had at least 17 drinks and showed common signs of intoxication.

After five hours of deliberation, the jury found the defendant liable for serving alcohol to an obviously intoxicated Palacios and escorting him to his vehicle, which later led to the fatal accident.The Hernandez family was awarded $18,750,000 dollars.

How To Prevent This From Happening

When in doubt, always call for a cab, Uber, or Lyft if you have a patron that is intoxicated. It is better to have peace of mind knowing you have done the right thing. The very last thing you want to deal with is finding out that a patron you served alcohol to caused bodily injury or property damage.

To further your training in the field, you may want to look into the following:


In Denver, Colorado, an attorney entered a bar at 9:30 am after losing his job. In a short two-hour period, the distraught individual consumed two beers and 13 shots of vodka. At 11:30 am, he left the liquor establishment and drove under the influence of alcohol.

He struck a 15-year-old minor who was placing his bicycle in the back of his vehicle on the side of the road. The victim was stuck between his vehicle and the attorney’s vehicle. Unfortunately, the boy suffered severe injuries to his legs and required several surgeries. At the end of the ordeal, medical professionals had to amputate one of his legs.

The liquor establishment was found liable and the case settled for $200,000, plus another $20,100 in defense costs.

How To Prevent This From Happening

Keep an eye on your patrons and know when you should initiate a last call for them.

To further your training in the field, you may want to look into the following:


A bartender at a local tavern in Missouri did not ask for identification and served a 20-year-old woman three mixed drinks and two beers at the bar.

On her way home, she drove under the influence of alcohol and completely lost control of her vehicle. The vehicle hit a freeway median, flipped over, and caught on fire. The driver suffered extreme burns on her face, neck, arms, and legs.

The patron sued and settled for $500,000 plus legal fees, with the total ending up around $586,000.

How To Prevent This From Happening

Make a habit of carding every person you serve alcohol to. Yes, you should even card the people who clearly look over 21 years old. You never know when it will count and how it can save you from an expensive lawsuit. If you are serving alcohol to a group of people, ask them to take out the identification cards all at once, so you’re not waiting around and wasting your time.

Liquor liability insurance coverage can protect your business from a costly lawsuit and safeguard your business from being closed down permanently. You protect your home with insurance. Why not protect your livelihood? No matter how much training you have or how careful you think you are, it only takes one mistake for the unthinkable to happen. To learn more about liquor liability insurance, visit us here.


Lyndsey Larsen is the Marketing Manager and writes about business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and insurance.

Lyndsey Larsen is an experienced writer with a background in corporate communications nonprofits, SAAS corporations, and nutraceutical companies. She has previously worked as a journalist for regional and national publications. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing butterflies, rockhounding, and spending time with her two kids in Utah’s mountains or deserts. Find Lyndsey on LinkedIn.

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