Waltham, MA asked in Business Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Massachusetts

Q: If I have over a million dollars in dram insurance (Massachusetts) for my LLC, how likely is someone to come after me

I am planning to open a traveling bartender service (parties, work functions, [eventually] weddings) as a side gig. However, I want to make sure that I am covered in case someone drives drunk and causes an accident. I will carry event/dram insurance specific for such events for well over a million dollars in coverage. How often do these DUI lawsuits break past the insurance companies? I know that most personal injury lawyers cast a wide net with their lawsuits, but am I likely to lose personal money if I have the insurance and an LLC?

I have bartended on the side at restaurants for years...but I do not want to start this if I am opening myself up to high risks of lawsuits, losing my house, etc.

Lastly, I do TIPS and really try not to overserve anyone, but this is not always easy and accidents happen. I am not looking for definitive answers - more just how common are personal lawsuits against bartenders, servers, etc.

Thank you so much for your time.

2 Lawyer Answers

A: The person who posted this question is quite wise. To think ahead; to plan for the possible. Kudos.

As to the amount of liability insurance, there are several things to consider. First, what are your personal assets? You should have enough insurance that your assets are protected. Second, does your LLC protect you? If you are acting by yourself, you and your LLC may be liable, and the LLC might not be able to prevent personal liability if you yourself is found at fault. Next, what is the likely amount needed to cover any lawsuit that may occur. This is hard to predict, as an injury from this could be anything from something very minor to extensive losses in the millions. Therefore, you would want the maximum amount of insurance, weighing all factors, including cost. Cost to add additional coverage once you already have $1M may be relatively small.

As you can see there are many factors (and others, not all indicated above). It is best for you to confer with your business attorney to help determine what is best in your situation. Your insurance agent can usually provide useful information.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: You could discuss this with your insurance broker. But anyone, whether your broker or the attorneys here, could only say that there is no control over what a plaintiff would go after. It could depend on the facts of the matter and the determination of the law firm. Many law firms could end their recovery efforts at the limits of the policy, but no one could guarantee this. Good luck

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