College Station Dram Shop Lawyers

Last updated on: August 1, 2022

Call experienced College Station dram shop lawyers today at (800) 863-5312 

Americans love their alcohol; based on alcohol sales, the average American enjoys 1.35 drinks per day. Unfortunately, Americans also have a tendency to get behind the wheel after drinking. One out of every 121 licensed drivers is arrested each year for driving while intoxicated. Undoubtedly there are even more drunk drivers who do not get caught. College Station dram shop lawyers can help you if you have been the victim of a drunk driver.

If a drunk driver crashed into your vehicle, talk with the lawyers at Zinda Law Group. We have experts ready to provide you with a free consultation and hear about your concerns with your case. Call (800) 863-5312 to see what we can do for you.

How a College Station drunk driving accident attorney helps victims

After the accident, you might be busy with doctor’s appointments and trying to get your life back on track. You might not have thought about suing the person who caused the accident until recently, or you might wonder whether it would even be worth your time to sue that person. Speaking with an attorney is a good way to determine whether you should pursue your claim.

If you are wondering how an attorney can add value, you may be interested to learn that litigants who choose to represent themselves without an attorney typically receive much lower settlements. Even before you reach the settlement stage, a College Station drunk driving accident lawyer can help you understand whether a lawsuit is worth your time and energy based on the facts of your case and your odds of recovery.

If the lawyer advises against suing, you will likely have saved yourself time and money overall. If the lawyer encourages you to sue the person who caused your injury, you should learn how an attorney can continue to help you throughout the legal process.

A Lawyer Understands College Station’s Dram Shop Laws

If you move forward with your lawsuit, you will encounter many Texas laws, both procedural and substantive. One important law you might need to know is Texas’s statute of limitations.

A statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time you have to bring your claim after you suffer an injury. In Texas, you have two years from the day of the accident to file your claim against the person who hurt you. If you miss that deadline, you might not be able to receive compensation for your injury.

You might wonder, “Can I sue a bar?” Who or what to sue is another critical piece of your case, and a lawyer can help you strategize whether to sue the drunk driver, the bar, or both.

Additionally, the lawyer can help you strategize about what causes of action you should use in your claim. The legal theory in your case will likely hinge on the driver’s reckless behavior or the bar’s negligence, but your attorney will let you know what other causes of action you can include in your claim.

In a negligence case, you claim that the tortfeasor (the person or entity that caused your injury) owed you a duty of care. You must prove that the tortfeasor breached the duty of care to you. Next, you must show that you received a compensable injury and that the tortfeasor’s breach of care caused your injury.

The general duty of care in negligence cases is to prevent foreseeable harm. Driving drunk obviously breaches that duty. If you received a physical injury because of the drunk driver’s breach of his or her duty of care, then you can probably recover under a theory of negligence.

An Experienced Lawyer Can More Thoroughly Investigate Your Case

Once you have filed your claim against the right persons or entities using the right legal theories, you will receive an answer from the defendant, perhaps including counterclaims. Defendants file counterclaims when they believe they can prove that you were at fault in the incident.

You can begin to search for evidence that backs your legal theories in your claim. Professional attorneys know how to best show the weaknesses of any counterclaims. This stage of litigation is called discovery, and it allows both sides of the dispute to gather all the information they need to make informed decisions during settlement.

Discovery typically takes the longest compared with other stages of litigation, since both parties want to have as much evidence as possible to prove their claims. During that time, you and your attorney will uncover and organize information pertaining to your injury.

Both sides of the claim may conduct interviews with the plaintiff, the defendant, and other witnesses. Witnesses might include people who saw the accident or the sale of the alcohol. They may be willing to attest to the defendant’s fault for the accident.

Your attorney may also want to hire expert witnesses whose testimony in court can support your case. An expert witness may not have seen the accident. Often, however, expert witnesses discuss how certain factors impact the case.

For example, in a drunk driving accident, an expert witness might discuss the effect of alcohol on one’s ability to drive. You can use that information in conjunction with the number of drinks the driver had in your case to show that the bar should not have continued to serve the driver.

Read more: Why is an Expert Witness Needed for My Case?

A College Station Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Can Help Settle Your Case

After discovery, you will begin negotiating a settlement with the defendant. The process of negotiation may not take as long as discovery, but it can be challenging and requires skill. A lawyer understands what settlement amount is appropriate in your case because of comparable past clients the lawyer has helped.

The defendant’s attorney could try to lower the settlement amount by poking holes in your legal arguments. The defendant’s attorney might say that your negligence contributed to the accident or that your injuries are not that serious.

It is highly unlikely that the bar’s owner would not hire an experienced attorney to battle on the bar’s behalf. Your attorney can prepare to face the lawyers on the other side. They have faced many in similar cases, along with the kinds of arguments they could raise.

If the defendant does not offer you a settlement amount within the range you are willing to accept, your lawyer might advise you to go to trial. It is rare for cases to go to trial because they do not have the same predictability as a settlement.

At trial, a jury will interpret the facts of the case and decide an award amount accordingly. The amount could be much higher or much lower than the amount you tried to receive at settlement.

Read more: Dram Shop Lawyer

Five steps after a drunk driving accident in College Station

If you have not recently been in an accident involving a drunk driver, the following sections can help prepare you in case you are involved in an accident in the future. If you have been in an accident, you might be uncertain about your next steps. You can use the following items to learn how to proceed after the accident by determining what you have done so far and what you still must do. A College Station drunk driving accident lawyer can give you a more personalized sense of direction.

1. Get an Accident Report

You should call the police immediately after the accident for several reasons. First, if the other driver is clearly intoxicated, you need to preserve that piece of evidence by having an officer come and breathalyze the driver. The reporting officer will likely include the driver’s blood alcohol content in the crash report.

Second, the crash report usually includes the officer’s initial impressions of who was at fault for the accident. If the other driver is drunk, that will probably impact the officer’s fault evaluation. Third, calling the police can preserve other pieces of evidence and contact information that you might not otherwise be able to access or know to collect. You can access the crash report by requesting it online a few days after the accident.

Of course, the other driver might be aware that he or she is above the legal limit and might try to prevent you from calling the police. The driver might make promises about paying you for your injuries and take full responsibility for the accident. However, this could be difficult to enforce or prove later if you do not have evidence that the accident was not your fault.

2. Find Out Who the Other Driver Is

Get the contact information from the other driver. He or she might be hesitant to provide it to try and stop you from filing suit. However, if you call the police to report the accident, the officer will be able to collect the drunk driver’s contact information. Document the driver’s name, phone number, address, and insurance information.

3. Collect Evidence at the Scene of the Accident

Although the most important piece of evidence you will probably preserve is the driver’s blood alcohol content at the time of the crash, there are other pieces of evidence you should collect to help make your case. If anyone else saw the accident and/or the drunken behavior of the other driver, collect the witnesses’ contact information. Your lawyer might decide to interview them during discovery. Also, take pictures of the damage to the vehicles and the location of the accident scene.

4. Visit Your Doctor if Injured

Skip the previous steps if you require emergency medical attention. However, if you did not need to call an ambulance, you should still visit the doctor soon after your crash so that you have evidence of your injury. Document your visits to help calculate your economic and non-economic damages.

5. Speak with a College Station Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

After the previous steps, you can speak with a lawyer. A College Station drunk driving accident attorney can help you learn whether you can recover for your injuries. A lawyer at Zinda Law Group can give you a free consultation.

What are College Station dram shop laws?

Dram Shop Laws in General

Dram” is the Scottish word for a pour of whiskey—more specifically, one-eighth of an ounce of whiskey. It follows, then, that a dram shop is the place you can receive a dram, and a dram shop law regulates the dram shop’s distribution of drams.

Today, the terms “dram shop” and “dram shop law” apply to alcohol providers generally. An alcohol provider is a person who sells or serves alcohol under a license or permit.

Dram shop laws allow victims of drunk driving to recover compensation from bars that serve customers who are clearly already intoxicated. There are two basic kinds of dram shop laws: first-person dram shop laws and third-person dram shop laws.

Under first-person dram shop laws, a drunk driver can sue the alcohol provider that overserved him or her when that provision leads to a fight or car accident. Under third-person dram shop laws, the victim of a drunk driving accident or a fight can sue the alcohol provider that overserved the tortfeasor.

College Station Dram Shop Laws

College Station follows Texas’s dram shop law, which allows victims like you to sue the bar that overserved an intoxicated person who crashed into you. Some states allow you to sue a party host that overserved an intoxicated person, but in Texas, the alcohol provider must have sold the alcohol or have a license or permit to sell the alcohol. If you are unsure whether your case fits within the Texas dram shop law, speak with an attorney at Zinda Law Group.

Read more: Can a Bar Be Held Responsible for an Injury by a Drunk Driver?

Is there bar liability for alcohol injuries?

According to Texas law, the bar has liability for drunk driving when:

1. It serves someone who was obviously intoxicated, presenting a clear danger to himself and others, and

2. The intoxication of the person served the drink was a proximate cause of the damages suffered.

The types of damages for which you could be compensated include economic damages, non-economic damages, and sometimes punitive damages. Potentially, both the bar and the driver could owe you these damages.

Economic damages cover expenses you can track by keeping receipts of what you paid because of your injury. They include medical bills, time you had to take off work to address the injury, and damage to your vehicle. Non-economic damages cover the physical pain and emotional and psychological suffering you endured and continue to endure because of your injury. Finally, the court might award punitive damages to punish the bar and/or driver and prevent them from committing negligent acts in the future.

call our College Station dram shop lawyers at zinda law group to find out about your case

If you or a loved one were harmed by a driver who negligently drank and drove, you might be able to recover against both the driver and the bar that overserved him or her. A lawyer can show you whether that is an option in your case.

A College Station drunk driving accident attorney at Zinda Law Group can help you through whatever confusion you might have about filing your claim. An attorney can take the weight of litigation off of your shoulders so you can focus on recovering from your injury.

Do not suffer in silence and allow the drunk driver and the bar to continue acting negligently without consequence. Depending on the severity of your injury and other key factors in your case, you could pursue maximum compensation.

Call us at (800) 863-5312 to learn about the compensation available to you. Use your free consultation with a Zinda Law Group attorney to decide how to move forward with your case and your life.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.