If the bar either served a minor, or over-served a patron, then yes you may be able to recover a portion of your total damages from the bar, club or restaurant. This is thanks to Texas’ Dram Shop laws. 38 states across the country, including Texas, have dram shop liability statutes on the book.
Bars exist to make a profit. That being said, bars are not supposed to put the lives of their patrons in jeopardy just because of money. The dram shop law exists to ensure that bars are kept in line and that individuals who are “obviously intoxicated” don’t get served more alcohol.
In Texas, the dram shop statute makes businesses which sell alcohol to an individual who is obviously intoxicated, strictly liable to anyone injured by the drunken patron. The law goes on to state that the defendant should have noticed that the plaintiff was obviously drunk, thus serving him more alcohol would be tantamount to negligence on their part.
Negligence on the bar’s part.
Serving too much alcohol to a patron constitutes negligence and gives you the right to sue the bar that got a drunk driver drunk to the point of causing an accident for their portion of liability. This is because bars can contribute to a DWI accident when they do not follow the rules laid out by the TABC.
Conditions for filing a claim.
For a lawsuit targeting a bar and its management to be valid, there are certain things that need to be in place according to the law:
- Your Dallas drunk driving lawyer needs to prove that the bar sold the person in question alcohol.
- Your attorney also needs to prove that at the time the person was being served, it was possible to ascertain that he was “obviously” intoxicated.
- There also needs to be proof pointing to the fact that the intoxication was the proximate cause of the accident.
All these requirements can be handled by competent attorneys through proper investigation. Because of the complexity of such cases, contacting a Dallas drunk driving attorney is really your only course of action. Trying to start your own case can lead to your claim being dismissed – and you only get one shot.
Want more information on the topic? We invite you to learn more about dram shop law.