Drunk-Driving Accidents | Liability of Individuals or Establishments for Serving Alcohol
When you’re hurt in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s wrongful actions, the first place you typically look to for compensation is the at-fault driver. In Texas, you need to look to that person’s insurance provider for your recovery. Often, though, that person will be uninsured or underinsured, particularly if they’ve been convicted of drunk driving. Fortunately, there is a way, if you’re hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver, to pursue compensation from other parties.
Under the “dram shop” laws in Texas, a person or business that provides alcohol to a person who subsequently causes an accident can be liable for the injuries suffered. If you or someone you love is injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a drunk driver, you want an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to help you maximize your recovery. Bailey & Galyen can help.
Aggressive Advocacy for People Hurt by Drunk Drivers
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, with locations throughout the Lone Star State, we have protected the rights of injured people in Texas and across the country for more than four decades, including people hurt by drunk drivers. One of Texas’s largest consumer law firms, we are known and respected by colleagues and clients for our ability to consistently get positive results. Since we opened our personal injury practice, we have recovered more than $500 million for injured people. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 844-402-2992.
We built our personal injury practice on a pledge to commit 100% of our efforts to every case we take. We understand the key role communication plays in an effective attorney-client relationship. We’ll help you understand the law and process governing your claim, as well as your rights. We’ll notify you immediately of any developments in your case and carefully explain your options and chances of success, so you can make good decisions about your future.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dram Shop Liability in Texas
What Should I Do If I’m in an Accident Involving a Drunk Driver?
- Before you do anything else, make certain you get all the medical care you need. The longer you wait to get treatment, the greater the risk that your injuries will be aggravated or your legal rights will be affected. Go to the hospital, an urgent care facility, or your personal physician as soon as possible. Be sure to tell nurses and doctors about anything that’s out of the ordinary. Ask them to document everything in writing.
- Once you received the medical treatment you need, immediately retain an experienced personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will know exactly what needs to be done to protect your legal rights and will take swift action to preserve physical evidence, get witness statements, and file all required documents.
- There’s much you can do at the scene of the accident to help your attorney. Get contact information from anyone involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses. Take pictures of everything, including your injuries, the damage to both vehicles, the road conditions, and the weather. Your cellphone camera is fine.
How Do Dram Shop Laws Protect Me After an Accident Involving a Drunk Driver?
In Texas, you can bring a personal injury claim against the person or business that served alcohol to a patron if:
- The patron subsequently gets behind the wheel and causes an accident;
- It was “apparent” to the person providing alcohol to the patron that the patron was “obviously intoxicated” so as to present a clear danger to himself or others; and
- It can be proven that the intoxication was the proximate cause of the accident, i.e., that it was reasonably foreseeable based on the patron’s state of inebriation.
It should also be noted that Texas applies a form of dram shop liability to social hosts—people who serve alcohol in their homes or at private events.
What Losses Can I Recover in a Dram Shop Claim?
The losses available in a dram shop claim are the same as those that can be recovered in other motor-vehicle-accident lawsuits:
- Loss of income or wages
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life—the ability to do things that brought you joy or fulfillment
- Physical pain and suffering
- Medical expenses not covered by insurance
- Property damage not covered by insurance
How Can Bailey & Galyen Help Me with a Dram Shop Liability Claim?
At Bailey & Galyen, we have more than four decades of experience handling motorvehicle-accident claims, including cases involving drunk drivers. We understand the challenges that come with these types of claims, and we know how to effectively prepare them for trial. We can quickly determine the value of your case, so you can decide whether it’s in your best interest to settle or go to trial. We also understand the types of evidence that are most effective with juries and when it’s a good idea to bring in an expert witness.
Contact Bailey & Galyen for Effective Representation in a Dram Shop Claim
When you or a loved one is hurt in an accident involving a drunk driver, you want an experienced lawyer to help you get full and fair compensation for your losses. At Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to anyone with a potential personal injury claim. We will take your case on a contingency-fee basis, charging attorney fees only if we recover benefits for you.
We offer proven counsel in dram shop liability claims across Texas, with offices in Arlington, Bedford, Burleson, Carrollton, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Houston, Mansfield, Mesquite, Midland/Odessa, Plano, Texarkana, and Weatherford.