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Who Can File a Texas Dram Shop Claim?

by | Nov 13, 2023 | Business Law

Establishments that serve alcohol often face a delicate balance between offering hospitality and risking liability. In the Lone Star State, multiple parties can raise a dram shop liability claim, casting a wide net of potential challenges for businesses. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, accident victims, their family members, and even the drunk driver themselves may have grounds to file a claim for compensation. However, dram shop liability cases can be challenging for the plaintiff to prove, especially if you have a skilled attorney on your side.

At Fahl & Donaldson, our attorneys are dedicated to helping you shield your business from liability. We understand how challenging facing a dram shop liability claim can be, and will support you throughout the legal process. When you partner with one of our talented attorneys, we will fight aggressively for a favorable outcome on your behalf.

Who Is Eligible to File a Texas Dram Shop Liability Claim?

When an individual is overserved at a bar or restaurant and later causes an accident, Texas’ dram shop liability law may come into play. However, only specific individuals have the right to file a claim, including:

Victims of a Drunk Driving Accident

In addition to filing a claim against the driver who injured them, drunk driving accident victims may be eligible to file a third-party claim against the establishment that served the driver. However, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the driver was visibly intoxicated and overserved.

The Drunk Driver 

If a drunk driver is injured in an accident, they may attempt to allege that their injuries were caused by your business. These are known as first-party dram shop liability claims. These claims assert that the driver would not have driven drunk if they were not overserved, and therefore, the bar or restaurant should be held liable for their injuries.

Family Members

If a drunk driving accident victim lost their life in the collision, their surviving family members may have grounds to seek wrongful death damages from the bar or restaurant. However, if their attorney cannot prove the driver was overserved, your business cannot be held liable for damages.

How Can an Experienced Attorney Protect Your Business Against a Dram Shop Liability Claim

At Fahl & Donaldson, we have extensive experience employing several different defense strategies to protect Texas businesses. Depending on the unique details of your case, your attorney may utilize one of the following defenses:

  • Your employee acted negligently despite being trained to serve customers appropriately.
  • The accident was not caused by the driver being overserved at your establishment.
  • The injured individual took a known risk, such as getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
  • The injured individual failed to take precautions to mitigate their damages, such as wearing a seatbelt.

We will analyze every detail of your case to determine which strategy is the best fit for your case. Our attorneys understand there is no one-size-fits-all solution to these claims and will personalize their approach to your unique case.

Speak With a Seasoned Dram Shop Liability Attorney at Fahl & Donaldson

Navigating a Texas dram shop liability case can feel like venturing into uncharted waters. While these claims can be daunting and legally dense, they also involve preserving your business’s legacy and good name. At Fahl & Donaldson, our attorneys are dedicated to safeguarding your business and everything you’ve built. We have over 100 years of combined experience and are ready to fight for you.

To schedule a consultation with a seasoned legal professional, call us today at (346) 241-7355 or complete our contact form.