Dram Shop Liability Defense Attorneys in Houston, TX
A Brief Summary of the Following Article
For any establishment that sells alcohol, ensuring that your business meets all legal requirements is a must, especially when it involves the potential liabilities that come with intoxicated customers. Texas’ dram shop laws are designed to hold businesses responsible for damages caused by overserved patrons, presenting a unique set of legal challenges for businesses. Dram shop liability claims can jeopardize your business’s finances and good name. In these high-stakes cases, it is critical to have an experienced attorney on your side.
At Fahl & Donaldson, our Houston dram shop liability lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients defend and support their businesses during their most challenging legal disputes. We have over a century of combined experience helping businesses across Texas navigate the complex legal process with ease. Our attorneys understand the complex nature of these cases and are ready to apply their wealth of knowledge and skills to your unique case.
How an Experienced Houston Dram Shop Liability Defense Attorney Can Help You
Dram shop liability cases can present more challenges than a typical car accident case, meaning you need a trusted attorney on your side to defend your business. Texas dram shop law states that establishments may be liable for any damages caused by serving alcohol to a patron who is obviously intoxicated. Being found liable in such a case can not only be costly but can also irrevocably damage your business’s good name. Fortunately, a skilled attorney can help defend against these claims in the following ways:
- Conducting a thorough investigation into the accident
- Filing all paperwork correctly and on time
- Advocating aggressively for your interests
- Guiding you through every step of Texas’ legal process
- Presenting your case at trial, should litigation become necessary
- Collecting evidence and witness testimonies
- Answering your legal questions
- Keeping you updated on the status of your case
At Fahl & Donaldson, our Houston dram shop liability lawyers understand that no two dram shop liability cases are exactly the same, so we will personalize our approach to your unique needs.
Proving Liability in a Texas Dram Shop Case
To successfully recover compensation in a dram shop liability case, the plaintiff and their attorney must prove the following essential elements:
- The establishment over-served an already obviously intoxicated individual
- The individual then caused an accident due to their intoxication
- The accident caused someone, including the intoxicated individual in question, to suffer injuries and other losses
Our Houston dram shop liability defense attorneys understand how frustrating it can be when someone’s own poor choices can negatively impact your business. We will conduct a meticulous investigation into your case to determine the best possible defense strategy to protect your business interests.
Common Defenses in Texas Dram Shop Cases
Fortunately, there are several defense strategies your attorney can employ to defend your business against a dram shop claim, including the following:
- Safe harbor defense: This means establishments can avoid liability by proving their employee was trained to not over-serve patrons but still chose to act negligently.
- New and independent cause defense: This defense argues that the accident was caused by something completely unrelated to whether or not the intoxicated individual was over-served.
- Assumption risk defense: If the individual knowingly took risks, like riding with a drunk driver, the establishment cannot be held liable for any resulting injuries.
- Failure to mitigate damages defense: Establishments may be able to avoid full liability if they argue that the accident victim failed to take steps to mitigate their damages, lessening the business’ percentage of fault.
In some cases, your business may not be able to avoid liability entirely. However, under Texas’ modified comparative negligence rule, your business would only be ordered to pay for damages relative to their percentage of fault. For example, if a drunk driver is found to be 80% responsible for the accident while your business is only 20% liable, you would only be responsible for paying 20% of the victim’s total damages. Our Houston dram shop liability defense lawyers will work tirelessly to determine the best possible defense and fight for a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Discuss Your Case with a Trusted Houston Dram Shop Liability Defense Lawyer at Fahl & Donaldson
Navigating the complexities of dram shop liability claims can be challenging to take on alone. It’s not just about understanding the legalities but also about safeguarding the reputation and future of your business. At Fahl & Donaldson, our attorneys are deeply committed to your needs. We will evaluate every facet of your case and provide steadfast support throughout the legal process. To learn more about our services and schedule a consultation, call us today at (346) 241-7355 or complete our contact form.