If a Drunk Driver Hits Me Can I Sue the Bar in Dallas?
According to the most recent information from the Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts, more than a quarter of car accident fatalities in 2018 can be attributed to drunk drivers. That is a staggering amount, and even when they do not result in deaths, drunk driving accidents can cause serious injuries that have lifelong consequences for innocent victims. If you are injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, you may be able to sue not only them but the bar that served them alcohol, under certain circumstances.
The best option to pursue compensation from all avenues, including the bar or drinking establishment, is to consult with a skilled Dallas car accident attorney who has worked on these cases before. At Dallas Car Accident Lawyers, we can take the burden off you and your family and handle the furtherance of your legal matters while you focus on recovering from your injury and adjusting to life post-accident.
Texas’ Dram Shop Law
The main law that comes into effect when suing a bar for the actions of a drunk driver is known as the “dram shop law.” This regulation can be found in Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code §2. It states that a bar can be held responsible for a drunk driving accident and resultant damages primarily in two circumstances.
The first situation in which a bar may be suable for compensation is when they served the at-fault drunk driver even when the driver’s intoxication was clear and obvious to the extent that they posed a danger to themselves and others. If a reasonable person could have seen the driver and realized that they were clearly intoxicated, then the bar should have cut them off and may be held responsible for continuing to serve them alcohol.
Another way in which the bar may be responsible for paying compensation for your damages is if they serve alcohol to a minor. The law states that any adult over the age of 21 who knowingly provides, sells, or serves alcohol to someone under the age of 18 can be held liable for any accident they cause.
By speaking to a skilled Dallas car accident attorney who has experience with drunk driving claims, you can set yourself up for the best possible situation in court or negotiations. You also can make sure you sue the correct entities, evaluating your compensation.
My Compensation in Drunk Driving Accidents
When you decide to sue a bar as well as a drunk driver for the damages you suffer in a car crash, it is important to know the kinds of damages for which you can seek compensation. The two categories of damages for which you can directly pursue compensation are called economic and non-economic harms. In addition to that, drunk driving accidents also may involve a third category called exemplary damages.
Damages that have a direct impact on your finances are called economic harms. They include a wide range of damages like medical expenses, repair costs for your vehicle, the value of any damaged property, wages lost as a result of being too injured to work, and even future income potential you lose by having reduced mobility.
Not all harms you suffer have a clear price tag. These are more subjective damages called non-economic harms. For example, you may be able to recover money from the at-fault driver or the bar for issues like your physical pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in life, loss of consortium with your spouse, and other harms that are more personal and less objective. There is no limit to the amount you can recover for these damages, but it is often necessary to bring expert witnesses into the case to testify to their monetary values based on similar cases in the past.
Additional compensation comes in the form of exemplary damages. This is an extra amount of money paid to you by the at-fault party at the behest of the court as punishment for, especially egregious behavior. Drunk driving falls into that category of extreme negligence, and these cases are some of the most common cases that involve exemplary damages. While you and your attorney cannot argue directly for exemplary damages, arguments made about the especially heinous nature of the at-fault party’s negligence and the extremely negative ways in which your injury has changed your life can lead a jury or judge to award this compensation.
I Can Get a FREE Consultation Today
If you are injured in a drunk driving car accident, you should get in touch with Dallas Car Accident Lawyers as soon as possible. With our help, you can identify the sources of compensation available in your claim and can begin gathering evidence that supports your side of the case.
Call us today at (214) 305-8277 or fill out the form on our contact page to schedule a FREE consultation with our experienced attorneys.