When you or a loved one becomes a victim of a drunk driving incident, seeking accountability is a natural response to the reckless actions that led to your suffering. In Texas, an at-fault state, you have the right to pursue legal action against the intoxicated driver to recover damages.
However, suppose the driver’s insurance coverage or personal assets are insufficient to cover the full extent of the harm caused. In that case, you might wonder where to turn for the compensation necessary for your recovery. Under Texas’s dram shop laws, you may also have the option to seek damages from the establishment that provided alcohol to the driver before the incident.
Understanding dram shop laws
Dram shop laws pertain to businesses that sell alcoholic beverages, such as bars, restaurants and liquor stores. The purpose of dram shop laws is to provide a measure of accountability and to encourage responsible service of alcohol. They recognize that businesses that profit from selling alcoholic drinks have a role to play in promoting public safety. Under Texas dram shop laws, you can take legal action against an establishment under the following circumstances:
- The establishment served alcohol to an individual who was visibly intoxicated to the point that they posed a clear danger to themselves or others.
- The establishment’s decision to serve the person was a foreseeable cause of your injuries.
- The intoxicated person directly caused the accident and your subsequent injuries as a result of the over-service of alcohol.
When an establishment neglects its responsibility to its patrons, it can lead to catastrophic accidents and damages. After all, it does not make sense to continue serving alcohol to someone who is already drunk and has to get home safely.
If you find yourself in a situation where you believe dram shop laws may apply, gathering evidence is critical. Dram shop laws are there to uphold safety and ensure that there is a path to justice for those who have suffered because of irresponsible alcohol service. By understanding these laws, you can better protect your interests and obtain the support necessary for recovery after an injury due to another’s negligence.