If you are injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you are entitled to compensation. However, you may not only be able to sue the impaired driver -- you might also be able place fault on the establishment that served the alcohol.
While these types of personal injury claims are hard to prove, it is not impossible for an experienced attorney. In Texas, dram shop laws prohibit servers and shop owners from serving drinks to patrons who are already intoxicated. These laws exist as a method of protecting the public from the uninhibited actions of a drunken patron.
Proving a claim against a bar
Here's what your lawyer will do to hold a drinking establishment responsible for your injuries. In order to build a successful case against a bar, one or both of the following points will need to be proven:
- The person who caused the accident was clearly intoxicated when drinks were served. Witness statements, credit card or sales receipts or knowledge of the whereabouts of the driver on the date of the accident can provide helpful evidence. For example, if the drunk driver you hit you frequented several bars just prior to your accident, this may support a claim for obvious intoxication and a basis for negligence on the part of the bar.
- The drunk driving was underage and should not have been served any amount of alcohol. Bars are required to ID patrons, and dram shop laws prohibit serving alcohol to minors. If an underage driver caused your accident and you can prove they were served a drink at the bar, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Who will pay your damages?
When both the driver and the drinking establishment are to blame for your accident, the amount of compensation you are awarded will be based on the percentage of fault of each party. Generally, a judge or jury will decide how much liability they each bear.
If you or a loved one is injured in a drunk driving accident, an experienced personal injury attorney from Begum Law Group will explain your options and help you obtain compensation for your losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.