Injured in a Texas DUI accident? The dram shop act may be able to help. Texas' powerful dram shop law allows injury victims and their loved ones to file suit in the wake of alcohol-related accidents.
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Were you or a loved one injured in a DUI accident in Texas? You may have powerful legal options. After a serious accident, it's only reasonable to begin thinking about pursuing a lawsuit against the responsible parties, but most of us only consider filing suit against the drunk driver. In reality, Texas law may offer you another alternative.
How Dram Shop Liability Works In Texas
In Texas, licensed establishments, including restaurants and bars, can be held accountable for serving alcohol in a negligent manner. Licensed establishments that break the law can be held liable, in the event that a drunken patron goes on to cause severe injuries in an alcohol-related accident. These are known as dram shop lawsuits.
Fortunately, dram shop liability is fairly broad in Texas. Dram shop lawsuits must be based on a violation of the State's dram shop act. The act outlines 2 potential violation:
- serving alcohol to a minor (someone under the age of 21)
- serving alcohol to someone who is already "obviously" intoxicated
If an intoxicated minor or adult is negligently served alcohol, then goes on to cause injuries, the licensed establishment can be held accountable for the victim's damages.
Limited Social Host Liability
In some cases, Texas' dram shop liability may even extend to include social hosts, people who serve alcohol at private parties. Texas beverage control laws hold that injury victims and their loved ones may have a viable claim for compensation, in the event that a social host over the age of 21 negligently serves alcohol to someone who is under the age of 18, then gets behind the wheel, starts a fight or causes some other alcohol-related accident.
Unfortunately, social host liability in Texas does not cover cases in which an intoxicated adult causes severe injuries due to their consumption of alcohol. It only applies to minors who are served alcohol while under the age of 18.
2-Year Statute Of Limitations
Like every other type of lawsuit, Texas dram shop claims are governed by a legal time limit, the statute of limitations. This law restricts the amount of time injury victims and their families have to file suit. The statute of limitations for dram shop lawsuits is currently set at 2 years, beginning on the date of the injury.