1,676 lives were lost in Texas in 2016 due to drunk driving. Holding just the drunk drivers accountable for their negligence doesn’t necessarily solve the problem, though. Under Texas law, you can go after the source of the problem and sue who gave them the alcohol. If the drunk driver who hit you or your loved one came from a bar, restaurant, or party, you may be able to hold the bar, restaurant, or party host accountable for overserving the person who hit you. Under Texas law, individuals and businesses can be held liable for drunk driving crashes. These laws, the dram shop law and the social host law, enable you to file a civil lawsuit against the bars, restaurants, or individuals who violated these laws.
Dram shop law explained
Dram shop law cases help you hold the bars and restaurants accountable for serving an obviously intoxicated customer who then injures you. So if a person is overserved at a bar, is allowed to drive, and then crashes into you and injures you, you may be able to hold the bar accountable. A dram shop is the legal term for any drinking establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed.
To file a dram shop lawsuit, you must prove that the person who injured you was obviously intoxicated to the extent they were a danger to themselves or others when they were sold alcohol. Texas’ dram shop law includes a provision that allows you to hold a “responsible third party” – the intoxicated person who hurt you – accountable in addition to the bar or restaurant. This allows you to place blame on both the drunk person and the bar or restaurant. While there are some additional legal requirements that must be met to successfully pursue a dram shop lawsuit, if you know the person who caused your injuries had been drinking, consult an attorney right away.
Social host law explained
Texas’ social host law criminalizes serving alcohol to someone you know is under 21 – a known minor – if that minor then goes on to hurt or kill someone. Party hosts are also held responsible for damages and injuries when a host (not the underage drinker’s parent) served or allowed alcoholic beverages to be served to someone known to be underage and who then caused injury or damage. The social host law also holds party hosts accountable if they supply car keys to an intoxicated adult on the host’s property.
How to pursue a dram shop lawsuit or social host lawsuit
If you were hurt by a drunk person or your loved one was killed in a drunk driving wreck and you think you may have a case under the dram shop law or the social host law, consult our attorneys. We will answer all of your questions, walk you through the lawsuit process, and help you make an informed decision about what to do next. As in most cases, evidence disappears over time, so don’t wait to consult us. The longer you wait, the likelihood of winning your case decreases exponentially. Also, your case loses value the longer you wait. Our attorneys are experienced in helping people just like you who have been hurt in car wrecks caused by drunk drivers. We know how to make the civil justice system work for you. From filing temporary restraining orders to protect evidence from being destroyed or altered in any way to taking your case to court, we have a track record of success in these types of cases.
Holding drunk drivers accountable along with the people, bars, and restaurants who served them helps you get justice and helps make the community safer. Your dram shop or social host lawsuit sends a message that endangering the community by overserving people will not be tolerated. That businesses must be responsible for putting profits over the safety of the entire community. Drunk drivers took the lives of 1,676 Texans in 2016. Your lawsuit can save lives and make sure that number is lower next year.
To get started now, call us at 877-724-7800 or contact us. We look forward to helping you.