Holding Third Parties Liable in Texas for Alcohol-Related Injuries

Imagine this scenario: a drunk driver runs a stop sign and collides with your car, causing severe injuries. While pursuing a personal injury claim against the drunk driver seems like the logical step, what if they’re uninsured or underinsured? Are there alternative options available under Texas law? The answer lies within Texas law itself, where you could potentially sue the individual or entity that provided alcohol to the intoxicated driver.

In Texas, similar to many states, dram shop laws and social host liability govern these scenarios. Historically, establishments were not held accountable for injuries caused by their intoxicated customers. However, as the frequency of serious accidents involving drunk drivers rose, states implemented these laws to address the lack of compensation for victims.

Dram shop laws primarily focus on licensed alcohol sellers, holding them responsible if they serve an obviously intoxicated individual who causes harm to others. While the scope of these laws varies among states, in Texas, licensees or sellers can be held liable if the intoxicated person presented a clear danger to themselves and others due to their obvious intoxication.

For instance, if a bar continues to serve alcohol to an obviously intoxicated individual who later causes an accident resulting in injuries, both the individual and the establishment could face legal repercussions under Texas’ dram shop law.

On the other hand, social host liability applies to those who provide alcohol to others without charge. In Texas, an adult providing alcohol to a minor resulting in an accident can be held responsible under social host liability laws.

Understanding these laws is crucial, especially when pursuing compensation for injuries caused by alcohol-related accidents. A dram shop or social host liability claim in Texas typically involves seeking damages for various losses like medical bills, lost wages, property damage, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.

Remember, if you’re considering legal action, there’s a time limit known as the “statute of limitations.” In Texas, generally, you have two years from the date of injury (or death resulting from the injury) to file such a lawsuit.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an car accident by a drunk driver, please contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584 for a free legal consultation.