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Dram Shop Liability Defense Attorneys in Houston, TX

A Brief Summary of the Following Article

  • Liability: Texas dram shop laws assign responsibility to establishments and individuals for serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons or minors, potentially leading to accidents. Victims can seek compensation from those who negligently contributed to the incident.
  • Evidence: Establishing liability in dram shop cases involves proving that an establishment’s negligence, such as inadequate staff training or lack of consumption monitoring, contributed to a patron’s intoxication and subsequent harm.
  • Compensation: Victims can recover a range of damages under dram shop laws, including medical expenses, lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering, disability, and loss of life enjoyment.
  • Legal Support: Fahl & Donaldson emphasize the importance of legal guidance in dram shop liability claims, offering focused knowledge to help victims navigate the complex legal process and secure the compensation they deserve.

Dram shop laws highlight the responsibility of bars, restaurants, and other alcohol-serving venues to prevent alcohol-related accidents involving intoxicated patrons or minors. Proving liability involves demonstrating not only that the establishment served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron or minor, but also that this service was a foreseeable cause of the damages incurred by accident victims. This often requires gathering substantial evidence, including eyewitness testimonies, surveillance footage, and expert opinions on intoxication levels and the establishment’s serving practices.

The Houston dram shop liability lawyers at Fahl & Donaldson have focused knowledge on handling complex dram shop liability claims, offering victims the resources to build a compelling case. We assess the full extent of damages you suffered, ranging from medical expenses and lost wages to pain and suffering, and ensure that you recover the maximum compensation you deserve.

What Is Dram Shop Law in Houston? 

Dram shop liability is a legal principle that holds alcohol-serving establishments accountable for serving too much alcohol to a customer who then caused injury or harm to others. This concept has its roots in old English taverns that sold gin by the dram, a small unit of liquid.

These laws are designed to encourage alcohol-serving businesses to act responsibly. Additionally, they provide a pathway for individuals injured by intoxicated persons to seek compensation for their injuries and losses.

In many states across the United States, dram shop laws are in effect. For instance, under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, an alcohol provider can be found responsible for the actions of an intoxicated person if:

  • The individual who was sold or served alcohol was visibly so intoxicated that they posed a clear threat to themselves and others. 
  • The individual served was under the legal drinking age of 18.

Dram shop liability isn’t limited to just licensed establishments like bars and restaurants; it also applies to private citizens who serve alcohol at gatherings under what’s known as social host liability.

Liability in Dram Shop Law Cases 

Under Texas dram shop law, any venue or individual that dispenses, serves, or furnishes alcohol to someone who is visibly drunk or to a minor could be held liable for any resulting injuries. This encompasses a wide range of establishments, including:

  • Dining establishments
  • Bars, nightclubs, pubs, and similar venues
  • Hospitality providers like hotels
  • Locations hosting events
  • Venues for sports and music events
  • Individuals at private residences

Establishing an establishment’s accountability for contributing to a customer’s drunkenness presents a complex challenge. Conducting a prompt and detailed investigation is essential in these situations.

A bar or restaurant might be found responsible if your Houston dram shop liability defense lawyer can demonstrate that the following caused or contributed to the accident:

  • The business did not adequately train its staff to recognize signs of intoxication.
  • There were no measures in place to prevent excessive drinking.
  • The establishment did not keep track of how much alcohol the patron was consuming.
  • The establishment’s employees failed to verify the age of a customer who was underage.

Proving social host liability tends to be more complicated, largely relying on the accounts of witnesses. A thorough investigation becomes crucial to gather evidence regarding the intoxicated individual’s actions and the quantity of alcohol they were provided.

Recoverable Damages in Dram Shop Liability Cases 

Dram shop laws provide a pathway for individuals to seek compensation if they’ve been injured or have suffered the loss of a family member due to the actions of a drunk person. These laws extend the possibility of claiming compensation beyond the person directly at fault for causing injury or death. Instead, they allow victims to also hold the establishments that played a part in the incident accountable as well.

The compensation you can seek in a dram shop liability case encompasses a wide range of damages, including:

  • Medical expenses, both present and future
  • Lost wages or earning potential, both past and future
  • Expenses related to home care and medical services at home
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Long-term disabilities
  • Scarring and physical disfigurement
  • Decreased quality of life

Moreover, in instances where an individual dies as a result of a drunk driving accident or similar events, their family can file for wrongful death compensation. A Houston dram shop liability attorney at Fahl & Donaldson can thoroughly examine the specifics of your situation, gather necessary evidence, and vigorously seek the full compensation you and your family are entitled to due to your losses and suffering.

Speak With the Houston Dram Shop Liability Defense Lawyers at Fahl & Donaldson Today 

If you have been impacted by the actions of an intoxicated individual, you may have legal rights under dram shop laws to seek compensation for your suffering and losses. Navigating the complexities of these claims may be daunting, but you don’t have to face it alone. The experienced Houston, TX dram shop liability attorneys at Fahl & Donalson make a significant difference in your ability to successfully pursue the justice and financial restitution you deserve. 

We are a skilled, trial-tested legal team who have tried over 75 cases to verdict and will advocate on your behalf against establishments that have failed in their duty of care. Schedule a meeting with one of our lawyers today at (346) 241-7355 or fill out our contact form to discuss your case.