The short answer is yes, you can sue the person who caused the personal injury. If the person was intoxicated, you might also be able to sue the establishment that over-served alcohol to the patron. The Texas court system has little to no tolerance for any injuries incurred from drunken behavior. Whether you are injured while driving, in a bar, or out on the street, when someone is injured by an intoxicated third party, the victim is entitled to damages from the parties who are responsible. Sometimes, this includes bars that have over-served patrons and are liable for damages under the Texas Dram Shop Act.
The term “dram” is an old term used by taverns in England in the 1800’s. “Dram” refers to a measure of how much alcohol taverns would serve to patrons. A dram shop is any establishment that serves alcohol. In most cases, this is a restaurant or bar.
In 1983, shortly after a drunk driver was hospitalized from an accident, a lawsuit was filed against a dram shop for damages. The year directly following this lawsuit, single-vehicle-nighttime accidents decreased by 6.5%. After another lawsuit was filed for the same reason in 1984, there was an additional 5.3% decrease. The Dram Shop Act was passed in 1987 to not only hold dram shops accountable for over serving, but to also provide incentive for dram shops to stop over-serving patrons.
Thus, Texas Dram Shops Acts allow for injured parties to sue the owner of the dram shop for any damages they received resulting from over-serving alcohol.
How Do You File Suit Against A Dram Shop?
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident or at a bar by a drunk patron, then you might be eligible to sue the establishment that over-served alcohol. You will need a lawyer experienced in Dram Shop Law and who knows how to investigate the circumstances surrounding this type of case. You will also need to file suit against any other parties involved to ensure you get full compensation.
Usually, the dram shop will not be 100% liable for your damages. Texas Law assigns proportionate liability to each party responsible in these cases. If a jury finds the establishment partially negligent, then the dram shop is required for paying a percentage of damages. For instance, if a jury finds the establishment 25% negligent and your damages are $90,000, then you’ll receive $22,500 from the dram shop. The rest of the damages would have to be sought from the third party.
Have You Been Injured By An Intoxicated Person?
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident or any other injury by an intoxicated person, call us today and find out how you can be compensated for your injuries.