Houston Dram Shop Lawyers and Car Accident Attorneys
The Houston dram shop lawyers at The Cobos Law Firm have extensive experience in dram shop liability cases. While many are unfamiliar with the term “dram shop,” you will likely have experienced the effects of this law if you have ever been to a bar or a nightclub.
In the old days, a “dram” was a unit of measurement utilized by taverns and bars to sell alcohol. Effectively, when you buy drinks at a bar, they sell you a dram of liquor. Dram shop laws are in place to hold bars or restaurants accountable when they serve customers in excess. More importantly, dram shop laws allow victims of intoxicated drivers to pursue compensation from the establishment that provided the driver with alcohol.
Standing alone, a car accident has the potential for tragedy. When you bring intoxication into the mix, it makes things much worse. From wrongful death to personal injury, our Houston dram shop lawyers are here to advocate for you if you have been the victim of someone else’s intoxication. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
What Is the Dram Shop Law in Texas?
Title 1, Chapter 2 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code covers the dram shop laws in Texas.
An individual who sells, provides, or serves alcohol to someone clearly intoxicated who poses a “clear danger to self and others” may be held liable when those individuals cause an injury or death.
In such dram shop cases, it is crucial to establish that their intoxication was the proximate cause of the accident. Oftentimes, these cases arise following someone driving while intoxicated and causing a car wreck.
Any DWI lawyer in Houston will tell you that the state of Texas takes drunk driving incredibly seriously. Dram shop cases often make the reason for this abundantly clear.
Did a Drunk Driver injure you?
Any Houston DWI lawyer will tell you how seriously the state of Texas takes drunk driving. When you sustain injuries or have medical treatment after being hit by a drunk driver, you might not realize how common it is for an individual to drink and drive. Unfortunately, it is quite common in the Lone Star State.
Oftentimes, drivers drunk at the time of an accident have minimum insurance policies that do not cover the damages. However, when the drunk driver is over-served at the tavern, you might have a case against them as well. Typically, this would be covered by their liquor liability insurance.
While dram shop cases are not simple in Texas, our Houston dram shop lawyers have the experience required to take them on. Beyond the free evaluation, these cases often require an initial investigation to see whether pursuing a lawsuit against a club or bar is possible.
Injuries in Houston Dram Shop Cases
A car accident with a sober driver has the potential for great damage. In cases with a drunk driver, they are some of the worst accidents on the road. When a business allows a drunk person to drive, they might drive on the wrong side of the road, drive at unsafe speeds, weave through lanes, or take reckless actions.
Examples of injuries seen in dram shop cases include the following.
- Amputation or loss of limb
- Back or spine injury
- Bone fractures
- Ruptured organs
- Traumatic brain injuries
What Is the Purpose of Dram Shop Liability?
When a drunk driver causes an accident, the potential for harm increases sevenfold. Studies link alcohol to inhibited judgment, delayed reactions, and other factors that may lead to a car wreck. Moreover, their insurance policy limits may not cover the damages needed to recover.
Dram shop liability allows you, as the victim, to pursue compensation from a tavern, club, bar, etc. This opens the potential to recover the damages you need to cover losses or medical treatments.
The Liability of Clubs and Bars
Typically, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff. The person bringing the lawsuit must prove that the individual who caused the incident was obviously intoxicated when alcohol was provided to that individual and that the individual who caused the incident was a danger to themselves or others.
Moreover, the plaintiff must prove that the over-serving by the bar was a cause of the damages. Our experienced Houston dram shop lawyers know that an early investigation is essential to protect your rights.
Texas Social Host Liability
Social host liability is the general term for Texas law regarding serving alcohol. The Texas social host law allows people who serve alcohol at parties to be held liable in certain situations. These are the two circumstances.
- When hosts knowingly serve alcohol to minors on their property.
- When the hosts supply car keys to an intoxicated adult on the host’s property.
This law requires that the host know the minor’s age. Without this knowledge, the host cannot be held liable so long as their age assumption is reasonable.
Drunk Driving Statistics in Houston
Houston DWIs are a serious problem. In fact, across the state of Texas, one person sustains an injury or dies in an alcohol-related car accident every 2 hours and 21 minutes. Moreover, Houston ranks among the top ten cities for deaths caused by drunk driving. As Houston dram shop lawyers, we understand that there is often a shared responsibility in these issues.
According to a report by the Texas Department of Transportation, 1,024 people died in traffic accidents involving a DWI. This is 28% of the total accidents in Texas. Additionally, Houston is one of the worst cities in the state when it concerns DWI deaths.
Moreover, the Houston Chronicle reported that Houston has 11 fatal traffic accidents and 12 deaths in an average week. In Houston dram shop cases where a driver was over-served, it is possible to file a civil lawsuit. Lawyers like our Houston dram shop lawyers take the case to providers and hold them accountable for their negligence.
When you need to file a claim against the negligent parties in a DWI case, contact our Houston dram shop lawyers for a free case evaluation at The Cobos Law Firm.
Early Investigations Are Essential
Oftentimes, it is crucial to hire a dram shop lawyer soon after the drunk driving accident. This allows them to initiate an investigation as soon as possible. Bars, clubs, and taverns have certain safe harbor defenses available, so your personal injury attorney must immediately start the investigation.
Because the drunk driver’s condition is a major factor in the lawsuit, the earlier your attorney starts the investigation, the better. In turn, it is more likely to result in a successful outcome. Similar to other car accident cases, eyewitnesses are quite important to dram shop cases.
Do I Need a Houston Dram Shop Lawyer?
Our Houston dram shop lawyers take on cases and investigations to find evidence that negligent parties acted irresponsibly. Our legal team can help find evidence that:
- The negligent party drank at a place of business.
- They drank to the extent that they were clearly intoxicated.
- The business served alcohol beyond the point of clear intoxication.
- The business allowed the individual to leave and drive off.
- The individual caused a car wreck that resulted in injuries to themselves and others.
In order to determine such a dram shop case, you typically need a blood-alcohol content test performed near the time of the collision. This provides a clear perspective on their level of intoxication, allowing our legal team to calculate backward.
With this information, we work to determine how long they were drunk enough to be considered “obviously intoxicated.”
Contact Our Houston Dram Shop Lawyers
At The Cobos Law Firm, our drunk driving accident attorneys have experience handling cases against businesses that over-serve a customer who later has an accident. When you or your loved one is injured in a drunk driving accident, you need to know your options. These accidents have the potential for great damage, from serious injuries to wrongful death.
When the intoxicated person does not have adequate insurance, you can bring a club or bar to court to hold them accountable. In some cases, this is the only route for civil justice in serious injuries or wrongful death accidents.
At our Houston personal injury law firm, we offer free consultations and case evaluations. This is an opportunity for us to learn about your case. However, it is also a chance for you to learn about us. It would help if you had a dram shop lawyer in Houston who will advocate for your rights.
When negligent parties are held liable for injuries and damages, you have what you need to recover. Contact us today and let us show you how we can help.