Texas Dram Shop Laws
Understanding how Dram shop laws work in Texas is important when an intoxicated person causes you an injury or damage to your property. Depending on who was responsible for the person’s intoxicated state, you may be able to go after the person who served the alcohol for damages and not just the intoxicated person. As always if you’re going to recover compensation for an injury or damages to personal property, you’ll want a talented personal injury attorney on your side fighting for you.
What is a Dram Shop?
The term dram shop can be confusing to most citizens who aren’t aware of odd units of measurement. A dram shop is an establishment that sells alcohol. A dram is a unit of measurement of liquid and at one time alcohol was sold in drams. A dram shop can now be translated to mean any person or establishment who is licensed or permitted to sell alcohol to others.
In Texas there are specific laws governing liability for when a dram shop serves patrons. These laws fall under the state alcohol and beverage code and refer to who is responsible should an intoxicated patron of a dram shop cause harm or damage to another person. There are provisions within the law that may hold the provider of the alcohol responsible for damages if an intoxicated person who was served in their establishment causes harm.
How Do Dram Shop Laws Work?
Essentially the purpose of dram laws is to hold bars, taverns, restaurants, and even individuals who host and serve others alcohol responsible for over serving their guests. The law can hold a person liable for damages caused by an intoxicated person if they knowingly served a person alcohol when it was clearly evident they were intoxicated. The damage they caused must also be directly linked to the fact that they were intoxicated.
While these laws work to give injured victims some recourse in terms of gaining compensation for their injuries, it can be difficult to prove intent in order to hold the proprietor of the dram shop accountable for the damages.
The most common type of personal injury case involving an intoxicated person and a dram shop is a person becoming intoxicated and then driving a vehicle, where they then cause an accident.
What to do if You Have a Dram Shop Case
As we mentioned, the first thing to do is hire a personal injury attorney. Next, while working with your attorney and the authorities after an accident, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible to prove your case. This includes testimony from shop patrons, video surveillance, and bills or receipts from sales of alcohol. These will all help bolster your case and prove that the dram shop knowingly overserved the customer.
You’ll also want to make sure you fully document your injuries, including medical bills, prescriptions, treatments, tests and anything else associated with your recovery as well as the loss of property and other financial damages. These things are also crucial when it comes time to settle your claim or take your case to trial.
Your attorney will work with you every step of the way and advise you on what your case is worth, while also dealing with insurance companies and investigators on your behalf. You deserve just and fair compensation after your accident and the liable parties should be held accountable.