Can Accident Victims Sue the Bar That Served the Alcohol?
In 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes. That is one person every 51 minutes. And 2016 may have been even deadlier. According to CBS news, the first half of 2016 saw a shocking rise in` DUI accidents, with an average of 28 fatalities per day. While some of these crashes involved drivers who had been drinking at a residence, of course, many of these crashes involved a driver who was just leaving a bar.
As wrongful death attorneys, we work to bring justice to the families of victims who have been killed in negligent drinking and driving scenarios. We also understand that these cases are highly complicated and often come with a great deal of questions.
One such question regards fault. It is relatively clear that the intoxicated driver is at fault in a DUI-related death, but can accident victims sue the bar that served alcohol to the driver as well? We work to answer that question below.
If you watch television, listen to the radio, or read magazines, there is a good chance you have probably seen an advertisement from the alcohol industry to “drink responsibly” or “enjoy in moderation”. While these messages are important reminders, the advertisements typically fail to address the risks of alcohol consumption or define responsible drinking for their audience. They also fail to address the responsibility that establishments have in their choice to serve drinks to an individual.
A wrongful death attorney often considers whether or not a third party establishment could be at fault in a DUI-related death. To do this, we look to dram shop liability laws and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.
Over-serving Alcohol and Texas Law
In Texas, a licensed establishment who chooses to serve alcohol to someone even though they are clearly intoxicated can be held accountable for any injury that may occur as a result. In order for a lawsuit against a bar or other such establishment to carry weight, however, it must meet the following requirements:
- It was obvious to the alcohol provider and/or establishment that the individual who was being provided an alcoholic beverage was clearly intoxicated to the point where the individual could possibly pose an immediate danger to his/herself or others.
- The intoxication of the individual was a direct result of the damages that were served at the establishment in question.
A Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You File Your Claim
All wrongful death cases have elements of complexity, but DUI cases that could potentially involve the over-serving of alcohol in a third party environment are particularly challenging to navigate. With the help of a reliable wrongful death attorney, the families of accident victims can get the justice they deserve and help put a stop to the over serving of alcohol in Texas. If you have questions about your specific situation, don’t hesitate to contact Cazares Law Firm for more information.