If you or a loved one suffers an injury in a drunk driving crash, you may have many options for recovering financial damages. You may already know that you can seek compensation from the impaired driver who caused the crash. But did you also know that there may be other parties who share in the blame for what happened – and can also be held liable?
In drunk driving accidents, the liability may not fall solely on the driver. Texas has so-called “dram shop laws” that can hold certain parties who sold alcohol to the driver accountable for the impacts of a drunk driving crash. There’s also the possibility that social hosts who provide alcohol could be held liable.
Understanding third-party liability
Dram shop laws in Texas prohibit shops from serving or selling alcohol to anyone who already appears to be intoxicated. They also can’t serve alcohol to anyone who is underage. If they do either of these, they can be held legally liable for the outcome if there is a wreck involving a drunk driver that causes bodily injury or death.
In addition, Texas law states that a property owner or social host could face liability for a DUI if all of the following are true:
- They knowingly served alcohol to a minor (i.e., under the age of 18)
- The minor was intoxicated to the point of posing a danger to themselves or others
- This intoxication resulted in damages
Getting control of the drunk driving situation in Texas is imperative. In 2019 alone, Houston had 2,436 DUI-related crashes – resulting in 73 fatalities. Sadly, each of these tragedies was fully preventable.
If you’re injured by a drunk driver, you’ll want to look into all the possibilities that may allow you to obtain fair compensation for your losses. The impaired driver may face criminal charges, but you also have the option to seek financial compensation through the civil court system. This process can be complex, so it’s important that you work with an attorney who is familiar with these laws.