When you’re hurt in a DWI car accident, it’s usually obvious that it is the intoxicated driver’s fault. However, they’re often not the only ones to blame for the car accident. In fact, many times, there are a number of other third parties that had a hand in the accident – either directly or indirectly – that could be held legally responsible in a court of law in Dallas.
If you were hurt in a drunk driving car accident, don’t be quick to assume the driver is the only one to blame. Any one of the following parties could shoulder some of the responsibility:
- A social host – If the driver was at a party or social event where alcohol was being served before their DWI accident, and if it was there that they became intoxicated (specifically, over the legal BAC of .08 percent), then the host of that party can be held responsible for their car accident. If the driver was a minor at the time of the accident and intoxicated, the social host could be facing additional charges as well for providing alcohol to a minor.
- A bar or restaurant – Bartenders, waiters, and restaurant owners have a legal responsibility to cut patrons off if they become visibility intoxicated. If they continue to serve a customer past their limit, or if they allow them to leave, wander into the street, and get behind a wheel while noticeably intoxicated, the establishment or the employees themselves could be held liable for any damage that occurs.
- The car’s owner – If the drunk driver wasn’t operating their own vehicle – but instead the borrowed vehicle of a friend or family member – the owner could be charged in the event of a DWI accident. This is especially true if the car was lent to the driver while they were visibly and noticeably intoxicated.
- A passenger – Passengers who knowingly allow a driver to operate a vehicle while they’re intoxicated can also be held responsible should a DWI car accident occur. These passengers have a responsibility to take the driver’s keys away or to offer to drive themselves if they are sober. Failing to do so can imply liability if damage or injury ensue.
- A police officer – Sometimes, police officers will pull over intoxicated drivers, only to send them away with a warning or a stern reprimand. While this might be a “close call” for the driver, it can pose a significant danger to others on the road. If the driver then causes a DWI car accident after being let go by a police officer, that officer could be held responsible for any damage that occurs. It might sound unfair, but it’s the Dallas police department’s duty to protect everyone in our society – not just a few; failing to arrest someone for drunk driving is not a safe decision.
- An employer – It’s not uncommon for work gatherings and events to have alcohol at them. Like with any social host, it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure all drinking is done responsibility. Guests shouldn’t be served past their limit (or under age), and they should not be allowed to leave or drive without a safe ride home. If an employer allows a visibly drunk person to get behind the wheel, they can most certainly be held liable should a DWI car accident happen.
No drunk driving accident case is ever clear-cut. To find out which of these parties (if any) are responsible for your recent Dallas car accident and injuries, contact the Franklin Law Firm today. Our personal injury lawyer Jason Franklin is here to help you get the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve.