WHAT IS THE LAW REGARDING DRAM SHOP LIABILITY IN TEXAS?
Dram shop liability is a legal concept that holds establishments accountable for serving alcohol to individuals who then go on to cause injuries or damages due to their intoxication. In Texas, the law regarding dram shop liability is outlined in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.
Under Texas law, a dram shop claim can be filed against a business establishment, such as a bar, club, restaurant, or even a social host, if they served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or a minor under the age of 18. And that person subsequently causes injury or harm to another person. This law is in place to protect innocent victims from the consequences of alcohol-related accidents caused by individuals who were irresponsibly served alcohol.
PROVING A DRAM SHOP CASE
To establish a successful dram shop liability claim in Texas, the following elements must be proven:
ALCOHOL WAS SERVED
It must be shown that the establishment or social host served alcohol to the intoxicated person or that they knowingly allowed the person to consume alcohol on their premises.
The person who caused the injury must have been visibly intoxicated at the time they were served alcohol. Visible intoxication can be proven through witness testimonies, video evidence, or other forms of documentation.
It must be demonstrated that the intoxication was a cause of the damages sustained by the victim. Proximate cause means that the injuries would not have occurred if the intoxicated person had not been served alcohol.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver or someone who was served alcohol irresponsibly, it is crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in dram shop liability cases. They will thoroughly understand the laws and regulations surrounding dram shop liability in Texas. They can help you navigate the legal process.
FINDING THE RIGHT ATTORNEY
When choosing a personal injury attorney to handle your dram shop liability claim, finding someone with a proven track record of success in alcohol-related cases is essential. Look for an attorney who is highly rated and has positive client reviews. Additionally, consider seeking recommendations from friends, family, or other trusted sources who have gone through a similar situation.
A top-rated personal injury attorney in Houston will not only have the legal knowledge and expertise needed to build a strong case, but they will also provide you with the support and guidance you need during this challenging time. They will advocate for your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Dram shop liability is an important legal concept in Texas that holds establishments accountable for serving alcohol to intoxicated individuals who go on to cause injuries or damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver or someone who was served alcohol irresponsibly, it is crucial to seek the help of a skilled personal injury attorney who specializes in dram shop liability cases. These attorneys deeply understand the laws and regulations surrounding dram shop liability in Texas. They can guide you through the legal process.
When choosing a personal injury attorney for your Dram Shop liability claim, finding someone with a proven track record of success in these cases is important. Look for an attorney who is highly rated and has positive client reviews. In similar situations, you can also seek recommendations from friends, family, or other trusted sources.
A top-rated personal injury attorney will not only have the legal knowledge and expertise needed to build a strong case, but they will also provide you with the support and guidance you need during this challenging time. They will advocate for your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR DAMAGES CAUSED BY ALCOHOL IN TEXAS?
In Texas, the state has strict laws regarding alcohol consumption and liability for damages caused by alcohol. While the person who consumed the alcohol and caused the damages may bear the primary responsibility, other parties can also be held liable. Here are the key parties who can potentially be held responsible:
LIABILITY FOR BARS
Under Texas law, a bar can be held liable for damages caused by an intoxicated person if they provided alcohol to that person when they were intoxicated. A dram shop refers to establishments that sell or serve alcohol, such as bars, restaurants, or liquor stores.
If the establishment knowingly continued to serve alcohol to an already intoxicated person, and that person later caused an accident resulting in damages, the establishment may be held responsible for their contribution to the incident.
SOCIAL HOST LIABILITY
In certain limited circumstances, social hosts can also be held liable for damages caused by alcohol-related accidents. If an individual hosts a social gathering and provides alcohol to guests who are under the legal drinking age, they can be held responsible for any damages caused by those guests. However, it’s important to note that Texas law does not hold social hosts liable for serving alcohol to adult guests.
In some cases, a third party who did not directly serve alcohol to the intoxicated person may still be held partially responsible for damages caused. Other liability can include individuals or entities who contributed to the circumstances leading up to the accident. For example, a person who contributed to causing a car accident may be partly at fault.
WHAT DAMAGES CAN BE RECOVERED IN A DRAM SHOP LIABILITY CASE IN TEXAS?
If you or a loved one has been injured when hit by a drunk driver, it’s important to understand your legal options. In Texas, one avenue for seeking compensation is through a dram shop liability case. This legal principle holds establishments accountable for over-serving alcohol to individuals who then go on to cause harm to others.
In a dram shop liability case, with evidence, you can recover multiple damages. These include:
You may be eligible for compensation for all current and future medical expenses related to your injuries. Medical care includes hospital bills, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation therapies, and other necessary medical treatments.
If your injuries have resulted in the inability to work, you may be able to recover lost wages. Lost earning capacity can cover the income you have already lost and any future income you may be unable to earn due to your injuries.
PAIN AND SUFFERING
Damages for pain and suffering are to compensate you for the pain and mental anguish caused by the accident. These damages are subjective and can vary depending on the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life.
LOSS OF CONSORTIUM
If your injuries have affected your relationship with your spouse, you may be entitled to damages for loss of consortium. Consortium can cover the loss of companionship, affection, support, and intimacy you and your spouse experienced because of the accident.
Punitive damages may be awarded in a dram shop liability case in certain cases. These damages are meant to punish the establishment for their actions and deter future misconduct. Punitive damages are typically awarded when the establishment knowingly and intentionally served alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxicated or underage.
It is important to note that the exact amount of damages you may be able to recover in a dram shop liability case will depend on the specifics of your situation and the extent of your injuries. Consulting with a top-rated personal injury attorney in the greater Houston area is crucial to ensure you understand your rights and receive the full compensation you deserve.
HIT BY A DRUNK DRIVER GET HELP?
If you believe that a bar, restaurant, or other establishment may be responsible for your injuries caused by a drunk driver, it is important to take immediate action. Gathering evidence, such as witness statements, surveillance footage, and receipts, can build a strong case.
Additionally, reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities, such as the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, can help ensure that establishments are held accountable for their actions.
To maximize your chances of success in a dram shop liability case, hiring an experienced Houston dram shop attorney specializing in these cases is essential. They will deeply understand Texas laws and know how to navigate the legal process to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, a dram shop liability case may provide a path to full compensation in addition to the insurance coverage for the drunk driver and any Underinsured Motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy.
WHAT TYPES OF EVIDENCE CAN PROVE DRAM SHOP LIABILITY IN TEXAS?
Dram shop liability, or liquor liability, is the legal responsibility of establishments that serve alcohol when their patrons cause harm to others due to their intoxication. Certain evidence can be used in Texas to prove Dram shop liability. If you or your loved one has been a victim of such an incident, it is crucial to understand the potential avenues for seeking compensation and holding the responsible parties accountable.
Witness statements are valuable evidence in dram shop liability cases. Eyewitnesses who observed the intoxicated individual being served alcohol can provide critical testimony regarding their level of intoxication and behavior. The credibility of these witnesses can play a significant role in establishing liability.
Many establishments have surveillance cameras installed for security. In an incident, video footage can serve as compelling evidence. It helps establish the timeline of events, document the patron’s intoxication level, and capture any interaction between the patron and the establishment’s staff.
Alcohol service records
Establishments that serve alcohol must maintain records of their liquor sales. These records can include receipts and bar tabs, providing crucial evidence of the amount and frequency of alcohol served to the patron. By reviewing these records, it may be possible to establish that the establishment continued to serve alcohol to an intoxicated individual, thereby breaching their duty of care.
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests
If an intoxicated individual is involved in an accident, law enforcement may conduct a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. This test measures the alcohol level in the person’s bloodstream during the incident. The results of a positive BAC test can be powerful evidence in a dram shop liability case, as it can establish that the individual was indeed intoxicated and potentially prove that the establishment overserved them.
In some cases, expert witnesses may be called upon to provide their professional opinion on matters related to dram shop liability. For example, a toxicologist may be able to analyze the BAC test results and provide insight into the individual’s level of intoxication at the time of the incident. Expert testimony can strengthen the case and help establish a clear link between the establishment’s actions and the harm caused.
If an incident involving an intoxicated individual occurs at an establishment, the establishment must document the details in an incident report. This report can provide valuable information about the individual’s behavior, any visible signs of intoxication, and any actions taken by the establishment’s staff. Incident reports indicate the establishment’s knowledge of the patron’s intoxication and failure to take appropriate action.
It is important to note that proving dram shop liability can be a complex legal process. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in dram shop liability cases is crucial to ensure your rights are protected and you have the best chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
CONTACT BAUMGARTNER LAW FIRM FOR HELP WITH A DRAM SHOP LIABILITY CASE
6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069