Naturally, if you’re in a DWI car accident, you think the drunk driver is to blame. And while that’s certainly true – they can be charged, sued and held liable from an insurance standpoint – they’re not the only party who may have hand in your DWI car accident.
In fact, thanks to dram shop laws across the country, the bar, restaurant or retailer that sold the driver their alcohol may be held liable, too. That means they may owe you and your loved ones compensation for the damages, injuries and pain inflicted upon you because of the car accident, and you may have a viable legal case against them.
If you were involved in a Dallas DWI car accident, take a minute to learn about dram shop laws now, and see if they may play a role in how your accident is handled moving forward.
Dram Shop Laws: What are they?
The term “dram shop” comes from an 18th century term for gin, or “dram.” The establishments that sold this type of liquor were long called “dram shops” throughout England and the UK, and somehow the term just stuck.
Now, dram shop laws are used to hold bars, restaurants, liquor stores and other beer/alcohol retailers accountable for the damage their products (and their employees) do. They’re also intended to ensure bartenders, waiters and other staff members use discretion when selling alcohol, being careful to not over-serve or sell alcohol to minors.
In the event a drunk driver causes a DWI car accident, injuring someone, causing property damage or wreaking any other sort of havoc, a dram shop law would allow the victim to pin blame on not just the driver, but also the person who got them intoxicated. For example, say a Dallas drunk driver got in a car accident while on the way home from a local bar called The Tavern. Depending on the circumstances, the victim may be able to file suit against The Tavern for damages.
Typically, this holds true if:
- An employee serves a patron when they’re already visibly intoxicated
- They serve a patron past the point of intoxication and allow him or her to get behind the wheel
- They serve a patron more alcoholic drinks than their frame and build can be expected to take
Dram Shop Laws and Your Dallas DWI Car Accident
Even if an establishment did play a role in a driver’s intoxication, it is sometimes still difficult to prove their fault and hold them liable for any damages. In most cases, you’ll need to prove these four things:
- That alcohol was, in fact, sold to the driver
- That the alcohol sale led to the intoxication
- That injuries were sustained because of the drunk driver
- That alcohol play some role in the injuries or damages sustained
At any rate, if you or someone you love is involved in a Dallas DWI car accident, it’s always best to discuss potential dram shop suits with an experienced Dallas DWI personal injury lawyer. With a little investigation and the right eyewitnesses, a lawyer may be able to prove dram shop fault and hold the selling establishment liable for part of the damages and injuries caused in the wreck.
Ultimately, that can result in more compensation for you and your loved ones, and it will likely deter the establishment (and its employees) from acting similarly in the future. That means fewer drunk driving accidents and a safer Dallas community on the whole.
Think You May Have a Dram Shop Case?
If you were in a DWI wreck and think you could have a case against a bar, restaurant or other establishment, contact the Dallas DWI car accident lawyers at Franklin Law Firm today. Our experienced lawyers are here to fight on your behalf and ensure you get the justice, compensation and support you need.
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