McKinney Dram Shop Lawyer
When an accident case involves someone overselling alcohol to a patron, the legal requirements for a civil claim become more complicated. Local injury attorneys are required to prove that the server failed to stop providing alcohol to an intoxicated customer, but also that no safe harbors apply to the case.
A McKinney dram shop lawyer could review your case to determine if it falls under this specific area of law. If so, an attorney could work diligently to ensure you are properly compensated for the harm you have suffered.
What is the Dram Shop Act?
Dram shops are places that provide beer, wine, and liquor to others for sale. However, a dram shop is not limited just to bars or bar owners under Texas law.
This act holds people selling alcohol responsible in the event they negligently over serve someone. It is not a matter of giving somebody alcohol, but a matter of knowingly over serving somebody that is already intoxicated. Therefore, a local lawyer has to prove that the claimant was intoxicated whenever the service occurred. If they can reach that standard, then the bar owner can be held responsible under the dram shop act.
Liability Defenses for Overserving Alcohol
In Texas, since it is statutory and not developed under common law, there are some very specific rules regarding the overserving of alcohol. There is also specific safe harbor for those that are providing alcohol to others for sale, that if they comply with the rules and the regulations, then they cannot be held accountable or liable when somebody that they serve ends up injuring somebody else.
The typical safe harbor act that we see is for dram shop or bar owners who provide specific training to their staff about recognizing patrons that are intoxicated and cutting them off. In other words, if they provide the training to all of their employees, then that could reduce their liability. Due to this, it is critical in these cases that the lawyer be familiar with the fact that the safe harbor does exist in McKinney, so that the lawyer can gather appropriate evidence to show that the safe harbor does not apply in this dram shop case.
Additionally, like any other tort in Texas, Chapter 33 of the Civil Rights and Remedies Code applies and reduces the bar owner’s responsibility to the degree that others are also responsible. For instance, if there is a car wreck in which a drunk driver is involved, lawyers may look at dram shop liability. However, they are also required to compare the responsibility of all drivers to see who else was at-fault.
An attorney must gather evidence to determine what percent of responsibility for this injury belongs to the bar owner for knowingly over serving a person that is intoxicated. It is done on a case-by-case basis and reduced by the responsibility of everybody else involved, including the intoxicated person.
Examples of Dram Shop Accidents in Texas
The most common dram shop case in Texas involves an intoxicated patron of some bar who ends up injuring a third party. For instance, a person who got drunk at a bar, and as a result of their intoxication, injured or killed a third party in a vehicle accident. That is what most people think of when they think of dram shop cases. However, there are other versions of this event that can sometimes result in liability.
Another dram shop case that attorneys see quite frequently in McKinney, is when there is another person in the vehicle with the intoxicated patron that gets hurt very badly. That person can either be intoxicated or sober, but they are a passenger in a vehicle of an intoxicated driver.
The third type of dram shop accident involves two people who were overserved alcohol causing harm to one another. This could involve a drunk driver striking an intoxicated pedestrian, or two intoxicated drivers colliding. These cases are often devastating and can result in fatalities.
While rare, there are situations in which the person that was over served at the bar ends up harming themselves and is able to bring a dram shop action against the bar owner. It is important for an injured party to speak with seasoned legal guidance to determine if they have grounds for a civil claim under the dram shop act.
Speak with a McKinney Attorney About Dram Shop Laws
There are many nuances under Texas dram shop laws, including safe harbors that aim to protect those who sell alcohol. Therefore, it is highly advisable to seek legal guidance if you believe your accident was caused by a bar failing to cut you or your loved one off.
If a bar oversold you alcohol, speak with a McKinney dram shop lawyer about your legal options. Call today to schedule your first consultation for free.