What are common scenarios that lead to a dram shop case?
Accidents involving intoxicated drivers are more common than we would like. Oftentimes, it is true that the bar or establishment that served the intoxicated driver is partially to blame for the resulting accident. Not only that, there are other injuries that may fall within the scope of dram shop law that you might not have considered.
We handle a lot of dram shop cases at Grossman Law Offices, and, contrary to what many people think, there is more to dram shop law than just drunk driving accidents.
In this article we'll mention the most common scenarios surrounding dram shop law that we see on a regular basis.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- Does Texas dram shop law only apply to car accidents?
- Can bars be sued if a drunk person falls and hurts themselves?
- What exactly is a dram shop case?
What Exactly is a Dram Shop Case?
Under Texas law, if a licensed provider of alcohol over-serves a patron once they have become obviously intoxicated and a danger to them self or others, and an accident results where the injuries are decided to be proximately caused by the over-service of alcohol, you have a dram shop claim against the provider.
To say it another way, if a bar knowingly serves additional alcohol to a patron that they knew or should've known was drunk, and that person hurts them self or someone else, the Texas legislature has decided that the bar should be held responsible for their negligence.
Common Dram Shop Scenarios:
While each case has unique aspects, the vast majority of dram shop cases fall into a handful of categories. We'll explore these more in depth in the following article, but this gives you an idea of the different scenarios Texas law addresses concerning the over-service of alcohol. Grossman Law Offices sees a lot of the following kinds of cases:
- Drunk driving accidents - When someone is injured as a result of someone driving while intoxicated.
- Drunk driver hurts themselves - When an intoxicated driver injures them self, resulting in a first party claim.
- Drunk drivers hurts others - When an intoxicated driver injures someone else, resulting in a third party claim.
- Minors served alcohol - When someone under the age of 18 is served alcohol and causes injury as a result.
- Slip and fall accidents at a bar - When an intoxicated person is injured following a fall at a bar, restaurant, or sports arena.
- Intoxication assault at a bar - When someone is injured as a result of an intoxicated person getting involved in a fight.
- Alcohol poisoning - When an intoxicated person is served to the point that they are injured or killed due to alcohol poisoning.
- Walking into traffic while drunk - When an intoxicated person suffers injuries resulting from wandering into traffic.
- Drinking on the job - When an employee suffers injury as a result of drinking on the job.
- Negligent entrustment of a vehicle to a drunk driver - When injury results from someone knowingly lending a vehicle to an intoxicated person.
- Parties - When injury results from the over-service of alcohol at party.
Of course, there are many more possible scenarios, but these are the ones we see most often.
How Dram Shop Law Differs from Other Negligence Claims
All personal injury claims are negligence claims. However, dram shop law is a bit different from other types of negligence claims. Under the Texas Dram Shop Act there is a narrow list of items for which a bar can be held liable.
Instead of filing a generic negligence claim, you can only sue when the bar serves alcohol to someone who is already drunk, or a minor. Any other offense that a bar may commit might result in the bar receiving a fine or losing their license, but they can only be sued when they serve someone who is already dangerously drunk.
Deciding How to Move Forward
Filing a claim and hiring an attorney are big steps. We understand that this can be overwhelming and confusing, so we make it easy by making ourselves available to answer your questions with no strings attached. If you have questions about your possible claim, or want some help figuring out what happened to your injured loved one, we can help. We have over 25 years of experience handling dram shop law claims in the state of Texas.
Not only that, we've won hundreds of these cases, and we're confident we can help you. Give us a call today to get us working for you: (855) 326-0000.
Other articles about Texas dram shop cases that may be helpful:
- How Can Dram Shop Law Hold Fraternities and Sororities Accountable for Unlawful Alcohol Service?
- What Is a Third-Party Dram Shop Case?
- An Overview of Texas Dram Shop Litigation