If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver in Texas, not only can you file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party, but you may also pursue damages against a business or even a third party that provided the labile driver alcohol. Claims against alcohol vendors are known as “dram shop” cases, while cases against third parties are called “social host liability.”
Texas Dram Shop Law
According to Texas law, a licensed or permitted alcohol vendor—such as a bar or restaurant—can be held responsible for damages caused by an intoxicated individual if the person was obviously impaired to the point that they are a clear danger to others and himself/herself, and the intoxicated person was the proximate cause of the underlying accident and injuries.
For instance, if a bar patron is having difficulty walking, talking, or otherwise comprehending his surroundings, but the bartender continues to serve the patron, despite knowing the patron’s level of intoxication. When the patron leaves the bar, he ends up driving and getting involved in a crash. The victim could seek compensation from the patron and the establishment under the dram shop law.
Social Host Liability in TX
In Texas, if a social host—who is at least 21 years of age—knowingly provides alcohol to a minor under 18 years old or allows a minor to consume alcohol, and the minor becomes intoxicated, the social host can be held liable for any damages the intoxicated minor causes.
For example, if a host at a house party observes a person younger than 18 drinking alcohol but doesn’t say anything, but then the minor leaves the party in his/her car and ends up colliding into another vehicle, the victim can seek damages from the minor and the party host under the social host liability law.
Injured in a car accident in Dallas or Houston, TX? Contact Mathias Raphael PLLC Accident & Injury Lawyers today at (214) 739-0100 and schedule a free case evaluation. Millions of dollars recovered on behalf of our clients!