Dram Shop Lawyers in Houston Holding Liable Parties Responsible
You’ve probably seen a patron that’s had “one too many” while out enjoying a night on the town. Those super-sized margaritas are all fun and games until an intoxicated person becomes unsafe to those around them. This is why Texas law requires those who serve alcoholic beverages to refuse service to obviously intoxicated persons. This is meant to prevent unnecessary injury or even wrongful death — both to the inebriated individual and the individuals they may encounter.
Unfortunately, there are bartenders, servers, and business owners who don’t respect the laws of running a Houston dram shop. While they may think that all they did was serve alcohol to customers, the fact is that they put others’ lives in danger. Any establishment that sells alcohol has a duty of care to its customers and the public at large. When they overserve a patron who then engages in drunk driving or other dangerous activities, they have failed in this duty.
If you or a loved one was injured due to a drunk driving accident, Texas dram shop laws may apply to your situation. Without the right legal representation, though, proving such a case can be complicated and difficult to navigate. An experienced car accident attorney — like the lawyers at the Law Offices of Denise Adkison-Brown — can help you take a critical step in receiving fair compensation with a free case evaluation.
What Is Texas Dram Shop Law and Who Faces Liability?
More often than not, dram shop cases stem from drunk driving accidents. The Texas Dram Shop Act, Section 2 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, allows personal injury victims and families who have lost a loved one to sue commercial companies that may have played a part in the accident. Dram shop laws allow liability to be placed on the shoulders of individuals and entities who may have had no direct participation or knowledge of an accident. This can include bars, liquor stores, restaurants, and other establishments along with their employees.
As you might be able to guess, though, these cases have a unique angle and may be more difficult to prove. As the plaintiff, it’s your job to show that the alcohol administered to the driver put his/her life at risk as well as putting others in danger by creating a situation where an accident was likely to occur. Serving alcohol requires a license in the state of Texas — because it’s as much of a responsibility as it is a privilege. If an establishment is sending drunk drivers out onto Texas streets, though, it’s putting everyone in the state in danger.
If you’re not experienced with this area of Texas law and have no legal background, navigating the state’s dram shop law can prove difficult. Whether it was you or a family member injured because an intoxicated person was overserved, you have the right to seek fair compensation. Let an experienced personal injury lawyer assist in proving dram shop liability in court so you can focus on helping your family recover.
How Can a Personal Injury Law Firm Help Prove Dram Shop Liability?
Through a free scheduled consultation, we will thoroughly review the various details of your case to develop a customized defense strategy just for you. Keep in mind, though, that there are several facts that must be proven in order to establish dram shop liability. This is the only way to ensure you get the financial compensation you deserve.
To adequately prove a dram shop claim, your case must show that:
- An individual who was sold or served an alcoholic beverage was obviously intoxicated at the time. This means that we need to prove the extent to which the intoxicated patron presented a clear danger to themselves or others around them.
- An individual was under the legal age to drink, proving that the act was illegal and that the minor could not handle their alcohol consumption. When a person is underage, any amount of alcohol is too much alcohol.
- The proximate cause of the accident was due to intoxication. If a drunk driver causes an accident because they’re inebriated, this is oftentimes a simple aspect to prove.
While these may seem like major hurdles to proving a dram shop case, it’s important to remember that an experienced personal injury attorney from Houston has the resources available to overcome such hurdles. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission enforces regulations for a reason: to protect everyone in the state of Texas. When an establishment sends a drunk driver out onto the streets, a Houston dram shop attorney may be able to help prove your case.
Can a Drunk Driving Accident Lead to Compensation Without Dram Shop Liability?
Even if dram shop liability cannot be established in your case, it doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to compensation. If a drunk driver’s actions lead to your injury, then they acted negligently and failed in a duty of care to not put others in danger. This doesn’t change just because someone did not serve alcohol to them in excess. If you’re facing medical bills and other losses due to a car wreck involving alcohol, you may be able to recover damages from the driver themselves.
The insurance company of negligent parties typically has to pay for their actions. Any serious injuries you suffer should be reimbursed, but it’s possible to recover for other losses as well. These can include pain and suffering, lost wages from work, and other damages. There’s also a chance that you may be able to receive punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Since the act of drunk driving is seen as gross and willful negligence, juries are more likely to approve additional punitive awards to an injured victim.
Contact a Qualified Dram Shop Auto Accident Lawyer in Houston Today
After suffering an injury or losing a loved one due to reckless and intoxicated behavior, the last thing that you want to do is visit a law office. Unfortunately, failing to do so can reduce your chances of recovering fair compensation for your loss. Dram shop law is meant to protect citizens and visitors of the Lone Star State, and when establishments fail to follow the law, they should be held liable for the damage they helped create. Find yourself an experienced law firm that will aggressively fight for you while also providing the emotional support that you and your family members need through this time.
At the Law Office of Denise Adkison-Brown, you’ll work with a dram shop auto accident attorney who’s ready to represent your interests. Our clients know that we’re ready to hold liable parties accountable — whether this means fighting for a fair settlement or presenting your case in court. When we work for you, we don’t stop until you and your family feel satisfied with the results of your court case. Contact us by calling (713) 714-6206 today for a free consultation, and we’ll help you understand your rights and how you should move forward.