Patch.com reported that on August 8th around 9 p.m., Christopher Mertens was driving with his children the car on Route 1 south of Route 130 in North Brunswick, NJ. Mertens was allegedly speeding and under the influence of alcohol.
Mertens rear-ended another vehicle, which caused it to turn over and catch on fire. The victim driving the other vehicle was injured and hospitalized for his burns. The passenger of the car, and Mertens children, were also taken to the hospital but later released.
Merten was arrested on various charges relating to the accident.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent represents people who have been injured by drunk drivers in New Jersey. Below Mr. Kent shares some thoughts on the legal rights of these victims and families.
In a lot of cases, drunk drivers can be sued for victims’ injuries and damages directly, in a personal lawsuit. In addition to this, New Jersey and many other states have third-party liability laws also known as, dram shop laws. These laws allow alcohol vendors or social hosts to be sued under certain conditions.
According to the New Jersey dram shop law, victims injured by a drunk driver, or a family member of someone who was killed by a drunk driver can sue an alcohol vendor if: