Dram shop lawyers are attorneys that specialize in claiming against “dram shops”, which are any venue that sells alcohol for consumption in the state of Texas. They are named dram shops after the term “dram” which is a single measure of alcohol.
Most personal injury cases involve a duty of care to the victim being broken by a party that has acted negligently. Acting negligently is acting in a way that a normal reasonable person would not act in the same situation. If you have acted negligently and it can be proven, you may be found liable for any damages you have caused due to said negligence.
Every Richmond, TX dram shop is governed by the Texas Dram Shop Act. This means that they must refuse service to any obviously intoxicated person. If they fail to refuse service to the intoxicated individual, and that individual then goes on to enter their vehicle and cause a drunk driving accident, the venue could be held liable for their negligence.
These rules were specifically created to combat the rising numbers of drunk driving accident cases that the state sees each year. Not only is a drunk driver committing a DUI, they also drastically increase the chances of causing serious injuries or fatalities.
It is not fair for anybody to be the victim of a drunk driving accident that could have been avoided. If you or a loved one have been hurt or killed by a drunk driver, you should get in touch with our team here at Abraham Watkins, as you have the full right to seek fair and reasonable compensation for your damages from the at-fault party.
Abraham Watkins – Dram Shop Lawyers You Can Trust
Abraham Watkins is a law firm with over 70 years of experience. We have been serving our clients in the state of Texas since 1951, meaning we have unrivaled experience and knowledge of the state’s complex laws. We have won numerous cases for victims just like you.
Some of the areas we cover include Richmond, Sugar Land, and Houston.
Our phone lines are always manned, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so give us a call and arrange a free consultation today at 713-535-9319!
Texas Dram Shop Law and Liability Explained
Dram shop liability refers to the duty of care that any venue selling alcohol owes the public.
This is meant to be a deterrent and preventative, designed to stop venues from overserving alcohol to overly intoxicated patrons and then allowing them to get into their vehicles.
Following an accident involving any driver who was over the limit, victims may have recourse to seek compensation from a venue if they are found to be breaching dram shop law and acting in a negligent manner in Richmond, TX.
Do I Have a Dram Shop Case?
To assign liability, first, you need evidence that the venue acted negligently.
This means you will need evidence that a bartender or vendor at a venue saw an obviously intoxicated person, then served them alcohol anyway.
If this person was then allowed to leave and enter their vehicle without being stopped, then the venue has a good chance of being found negligent under dram shop laws if that person then goes on to commit a DUI and is responsible for injury or death in a drunk driving accident.
Texas dram shop law relies heavily on evidence of negligence and the assigning of liability in order for a victim to pursue a successful claim.
This means for the highest chance of success, the best course of action is always going to be to get in touch with a skilled and knowledgeable law firm and seek representation from one of their experienced attorneys.
Steps You Should Take After a Drunk Driving Accident
Car accidents are chaotic and crazy, especially in the aftermath. You or other parties may have serious injuries, there may be fatalities, cars may be on fire and traffic may still be swerving around the scene.
In this situation, it can be very easy to go into shock or to be overwhelmed. When this happens, you might struggle to remember what you should do.
If you find yourself in this situation, here are the exact steps to take to ensure your health and safety and to make sure you protect your rights during this crucial period:
- Check for injuries – If possible, check yourself for any injuries. If you have received trauma to the head or spine, do not move, wait for emergency help or you may cause more damage. If you have not, check your body for any lacerations or broken bones. If you are able, check other passengers, pedestrians, and the at-fault party for injuries too and report to the emergency services.
- Do not leave the scene – It is crucial that you stay on the scene when it comes to drunk driving accidents. If your injuries allow, move to a place of safety, but remain near the scene if possible.
- Call an ambulance if there are injuries – Call for an ambulance as soon as possible, even if you do not feel that there are any serious injuries. Sometimes internal wounds can have no outward appearance or symptoms but can be fatal if left undiagnosed. The ambulance team can address any serious injuries and will create an accident report you can use later on as evidence.
- Call the police – When you call for an ambulance, request the police as well. They will play a crucial role in making sure that the area becomes safe; diverting traffic, dealing with the drunken party, and filing their own report as well. Most importantly, they will administer a blood alcohol test to the drunk driver, which is the most important piece of evidence and will be instrumental in your case.
- Collect evidence – If you are able to, get your phone out and video or photograph as much as possible, cases like this always rely on the strength of the evidence. The more you can document the better; take a video of the cars and injuries involved as well as the crash scene.
- Witnesses – If your injuries allow it, try to collect information from any eye-witnesses. Ask them if they mind you recording their statement and info and if they refuse, ask if you can take their emails, phone numbers, names, addresses, and a short statement of what they saw by pen or in the notes on your phone.
- Go to the hospital – Even if you have not had to receive any medical attention from the paramedics, your next stop should always be to make sure you get a check-up from your preferred hospital or doctor. This will be your first documented medical attention and will ensure that you don’t have any internal or hidden injuries that were missed. Keep hold of all of your medical bills and receipts as you will be able to claim these back later.
- Hire a DUI accident lawyer – If you are planning to pursue a dram shop liability claim, you will need a dram shop lawyer. Time is always sensitive in these cases so the sooner you call them the better as they will ensure you know your rights and can advise you on what to do next. They will help collate your evidence and send their own investigators to the scene if necessary. They will also liaise with the emergency services to apply for their accident reports.
Who Can Claim in a Dram Shop Liability Case?
If a premise is classified as a dram shop under the Texas Dram Shop Act, then you are eligible to seek fair and reasonable compensation if that venue has acted negligently. This includes all parties involved, such as:
- Other drivers.
- Passengers in either car.
- The family of anyone killed.
When is a Bar or Restaurant Liable for Overserving Alcohol to an Intoxicated Person in Richmond, Texas?
The Texas Dram Shop Act lays out all of the guidelines and states that venues cannot serve alcohol to obviously intoxicated patrons. The act states that they may be held negligent and thus liable if:
- It is obvious that the customer was intoxicated to the level that they could prove a danger to themselves or others.
- The intoxicated individual went on to cause damages.
Dram Shop Injuries
Studies have proven that alcohol has a drastic effect on the response time and judgment of drivers.
This means they take longer to spot a hazard, and longer to react to that hazard. Thus, they may not slam their brakes on like a sober person would have done and they might not swerve out of the way like a sober person would have done.
This results in a much higher level of impact and collision which has a significantly higher chance of leading to a serious injury or fatality.
Drunk drivers cause some of the most severe accidents on the roads, which means that the injuries we see in dram shop liability cases are often on the more serious side, with more fatalities than normal car accidents and personal injury claims.
What Is the Average Settlement for Dram Shop Claims in Richmond, TX?
When it comes to calculating a settlement figure, your attorney will first calculate your tangible damages. This means the cost to repair your car, medical bills, etc.
If you are claiming “Pain and Suffering Damages, which are the damages that are not quantifiable, like loss of enjoyment of life, they will then apply a sliding scale multiplier to that cost and use that to form a fair and reasonable settlement figure that is hard to dispute.
They will then send this to the other party’s insurance company, who may accept, decline, or counter offer.
If they do not accept or they decline or counter offer and you are not happy with the sum, your attorney will use the strong evidence they have collected to take them to court.
Call a Dram Shop Attorney
Dram shop liability laws are extremely tricky and complex. If you are looking to seek compensation under the Texas Dram Shop Act, you are going to need a law firm staffed with lawyers that are skilled and knowledgeable on the subject.
Call Abraham Watkins Today!
With over 70 years of experience in personal injury cases, the dram shop lawyers here at Abraham Watkins have a vast knowledge of Texas dram shop law.
A dram shop claim can require a lot of hard work and skill, especially if it involves the wrongful death of a victim. We don’t back down from a fight here, and our team won’t rest until we think you have received the fair and reasonable treatment you deserve.
This means that when it comes to simple cases, we have a proven track record of winning quick and fair settlements for our clients. It also means in more complex cases, we are prepared to put the hard work in, fighting your corner in court and seeking the fullest and fairest compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Remember, in all personal injury cases, including dram shop liability cases, the sooner you get in touch with a personal injury lawyer the better. This will allow them to spring into action, advising you on what to say and do, liaising with all parties, and using the vast resources at their command to investigate and build your case.
We cover the entirety of Texas, from Richmond to Houston.
Dram shop laws are tricky, so call Abraham Watkins today so that we can help you seek the compensation you deserve through a personal injury claim.Our phone lines are manned around the clock, call us at 713-535-9319!
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