Drunk driving is a Crime
Drunk driving is a Crime
offenses a person can commit
offenses a person can commit.
Drunk Driving Victim Attorneys
Drunk driving is one of the most serious - and dangerous - offenses a person can commit. If an individual gets behind the wheel after being overserved at a bar or restaurant, these establishments can be held liable under dram shop laws. In most states, dram shop laws give drunk driving accident victims the legal ability to hold bars, restaurants, and other establishments that serve alcohol accountable. If you are injured or lose a loved one in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver, you may have the right to take legal action and pursue damages.
The Meyerson Law Firm was established in 1995 and has helped thousands of people seek justice throughout Texas and Colorado. Dram shop laws are in place to support victims of preventable accidents caused by overconsumption at bars or restaurants. According to reports by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 30 people die every day in the United States due to drunk driving accidents.
While we have seen a decline in drunk driving accidents over the last ten years, these devastating crashes contribute to more than 10,000 fatalities yearly. If you suffered an injury by a drunk driver or lost a loved one because of another driver’s poor judgment, contact The Meyerson Law Firm today and schedule a free consultation. Depending on the circumstances of your case, dram shop laws may help you seek justice and recover damages.
What is a Dram Shop
The term “dram shop” dates back to 18th century England where vendors sold gin by the spoonful - or a dram. By enacting dram shop laws, DUI victims and their loved ones could take legal actions against alcohol vendors. However, proving fault in these types of cases is very difficult, as plaintiffs must show the owner of a bar or restaurant was responsible for the person drinking too much. There are numerous factors to consider here, but typically you must prove the following:
- A vendor sold alcohol to the patron.
- The sale of alcohol directly led to the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The sale of alcohol led to intoxication.
- Intoxication was one of the reasons damages occurred.
Understanding Dram Shop Laws
Dram shop claims are typically defined as either a first-party dram shop case or a third-party case:
- First-party dram shop
First-party dram shop cases occur when the injured person is the individual who consumed alcoholic drinks at a bar or restaurant. Many states prohibit first-party dram shop cases, but in those that allow them, courts hear cases where the plaintiff is arguing the establishment is responsible for his or her alcohol consumption. These cases are challenging to prove, as most juries believe people should be accountable for their own decisions and actions.
- Third-party dram shop
Third-party dram shop cases are more common and occur when a drunk driver injures another person. The accident victim may choose to pursue a third-party dram shop case against the bar or restaurant for allegedly overserving the individual who then drove drunk, causing the accident.
In Texas, dram shop liability cases are relatively complex and usually only serve as a potential source of compensation for those injured. Bar and restaurant owners are not automatically held liable if a patron overconsumes and causes an accident.
In the Lone Star State, these establishments may only be legally responsible for damages if the jury finds the shop at least 50 percent responsible.
If you have questions about these types of cases or specific dram shop laws in Texas or Colorado, please contact The Meyerson Law Firm today.
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