Corpus Christi Dram Shop LawyersLast updated on: July 31, 2022
CALL (800) 863-5312 to talk with Corpus Christi Dram Shop lawyers near you
If you have been injured in an accident caused by an intoxicated person, you may have a viable dram shop liability case. Whether an intoxicated person caused your car accident or damaged your property, they may not be the only person responsible for your injuries. The Corpus Christi dram shop lawyers are experienced with dram shop claims and can evaluate your injury claims for free.
At Zinda Law Group, we believe in the pursuit of compensation for injured victims. So, if you have been hurt by someone who was irresponsibly served alcohol, call our Corpus Christ dram shop lawyers at (800) 863-5312. Through your free case evaluation, we will be able to better understand the facts of your case, and our expertise can help determine the best course of action.
What is dram shop liability?
The term “dram shop” was first used in 18th-century England to describe alcohol vendors who sold alcohol by the spoonful (called a “dram”). These shops were notoriously associated with causing alcohol-related accidents by overserving their patrons. Because overserved patrons continue to cause injuries, the law began to recognize dram shop liability.
To limit the availability of alcohol to underage and intoxicated patrons, state governments adopted statutory provisions to allow licensed alcohol vendors and social hosts to be held financially liable for the injuries caused by people they irresponsibly served. In practice, Corpus Christi dram shop laws hold businesses liable for serving or selling alcohol to minors or intoxicated persons who later cause injury, death, or property damage to another person.
Texas Dram Shop Liability Laws
State governments are individually tasked with enacting legislation that holds irresponsible alcohol providers accountable. Texas’ dram shop liability law applies throughout the state and is mostly uniform across counties. Corpus Christi dram shop laws give claimants a statutory cause of action under Chapter 2 Section 2.01 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code against an irresponsible alcohol provider who thereby caused their injuries.
Commercial Provider Rules
Section 2.01 of the Code refers to licensed sellers of alcoholic beverages as “providers.” To make an initial showing of dram shop liability against a provider, you must provide evidence that:
- It was apparent to the provider that the individual being served alcohol was underage or obviously intoxicated to the extent that he presented a clear danger to himself and others.
- The intoxication of the individual being served was a proximate cause of the damages suffered.
Social Host Provider Rules
Under Section 2.01, a cause of action also exists against social hosts over 21 years of age who serve alcohol to minors under the age of 18. To make an initial showing of dram shop liability against a social host, you must provide evidence that:
- The adult is not the minor’s parent, guardian, or spouse.
- The adult knowingly provided the alcohol to the minor or allowed the minor to be served.
Relevant Pieces of Evidence
In establishing a cause of action under section 2.01, it is the plaintiff’s burden to produce evidence showing that the elements provided by the dram shop liability statute are satisfied. In cases involving commercial providers, the most common pieces of evidence include:
- CCTV footage
- Bar tab receipts
- Eyewitness testimony
In cases involving social hosts, the most common pieces of evidence include:
- Text messages
Our staff attorneys will ask whether you have evidence of this nature when they discuss your claim with you. Since it’s our job to help establish liability, we are meticulous about diligently gathering and properly preserving evidence. Sometimes this can be difficult because there are multiple parties involved in dram shop cases, and for some, dram shop liability is an afterthought.
There are no worries when we are working on your case. For example, if you were injured by a drunk driver and would like to know more about bar liability for alcohol injuries, we can have an experienced Corpus Christi drunk driving accident attorney discuss your case with you. So, if you were injured and are starting to wonder, “Can I sue a bar?” call the Corpus Christi dram shop lawyers from Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312.
Alcohol Consumption and increased risk of accident
It is a known fact that the more alcohol we drink, the more likely it is that we will have an accident. Alcohol functions as a depressant, slowing down our motor skills and parts of our brain associated with inhibition. We can see alcohol have this effect in real-time by simply watching a person have a few drinks over a short period.
Unfortunately, even after seeing somebody do exactly that, alcohol providers continue to provide alcohol and sometimes even encourage people to continue drinking. As the alcohol flows, the risk of injury increases. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of injury because alcohol can:
- Impair our vision
- Slow down our reactions
- Disturb our sense of balance
Everybody reacts differently to alcohol, so it can be tough to judge whether someone is drunk, and for that same reason we might have trouble discerning whether we ourselves are drunk sometimes. Nonetheless, bartenders are with their customers serving them every drink and social hosts often know their guests. What may not be noticeable to a stranger could be noticeable to a bartender familiar with a particular customer or to a party host who knows an invitee.
Common Injuries in Dram Shop Cases
Dram shop liability cases typically feature the most common alcohol-related injuries. If you’ve suffered from one of these injuries due to the actions of an irresponsibly served person, you are likely eligible to file a dram shop liability case against the alcohol provider. The most common alcohol-related injuries include:
- Wrongful Death
- Traumatic brain injury
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Broken bones and torn ligaments
Drunk Driving Accidents
The effects of alcohol are why alcohol-related accidents happen so frequently. Among these accidents, the most troubling and often most disastrous are drunk driving accidents. In some drunk driving accident cases, the intoxicated driver does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for the injuries. If you find yourself in this position, then potentially the best option is to file a dram shop liability claim.
A Corpus Christi drunk driving accident lawyer from our firm can work with you to establish who provided the alcohol. After we’ve analyzed your claims and the supporting evidence, we can then determine the potential of your dram shop liability claim. To talk with a Corpus Christ drunk driving accident lawyer from Zinda Law Group today, call (800) 863-5312 and schedule a free consultation.
What types of damages Can I recover for?
Corpus Christi dram shop laws allow a financial recovery to be made by victims who suffered injuries at the hand of an irresponsibly served person. To recover damages, you will have to request them by filing a civil complaint against the alcohol provider who irresponsibly served the person who injured you. In these types of complaints, compensation for the following kinds of damages is frequently requested:
Medical expenses add up quickly, especially if you have recurring conditions that call for intensive treatment. After your injury, be sure to keep track of all costs associated with the accident, such as your initial doctor’s visit and ambulance transport costs. Other medical expenses that plaintiffs commonly reimbursement for include:
- Physical Therapy
- Cost of medication
- Prescription Medicines
Also, if your injury has long-term effects, you might be eligible to receive future medical expenses in addition to past and present medical bills.
Lost wages are calculated based on your previous earnings and the amount of time you had to take off from work because of your injuries. It is usually easy to determine lost wages because wages can be quantified by multiplying the number of workdays missed by your average daily earnings. In establishing lost wages, a skilled attorney will ask your employer to provide the following:
- Number of workdays missed
- History of bonuses and promotions
- Perks received from your employer
This information can then be used to determine what is fair and just when it comes to compensating you for your lost wages and earning potential.
Compensation for Damaged Property
Successful plaintiffs can also be awarded compensatory damages to cover the cost of fixing or replacing damaged property. To establish dram shop liability, the damage to property must be linked to the provider’s irresponsible serving of alcohol. Once this link is established, you may request the court to consider granting compensatory damages for the cost of replacing or repairing the property, as well as any expenses incurred while the damaged property was being replaced or repaired.
Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the court seeks to punish the defendant for egregious conduct. The idea is that awarding these additional damages will help prevent similar behavior in the future. Accordingly, punitive damages are only available in limited circumstances. For example, if a bartender encourages an intoxicated person to continue drinking and helps them get behind the wheel of their car, compensation for punitive damages is more likely to be awarded.
If you were injured by a drunk driver and would like to hold the alcohol provider responsible, a drunk driving accident lawyer can be there to help you. Our dram shop lawyers are skilled in assessing bar liability for alcohol injuries, as well as other dram shop cases involving social hosts and minors. To speak with a drunk driving accident lawyer from Zinda Law Group, call (800) 863-5312 today.
Statute of limitations for Dram Shop Lawsuits
Texas law gives accident victims the right to sue for injuries caused by an establishment’s illegal alcohol service. However, there is a limited amount of time for plaintiffs to file unless exceptional circumstances apply. This restriction on the amount of time that can pass before your claim is no longer valid is known as the statute of limitations.
In Texas, people have two years from the date of their injury to file a claim for damages. Failing to do so subjects the claim to the statute of limitations which automatically bars the claim from being heard. Simply said, plaintiffs are typically unable to initiate a case after the two-year statute of limitations has passed.
The Statute of Limitations Purpose
To provide defendants with an opportunity to make their case, states have placed limitations on the amount of time that a claim can be brought after an injury. The idea is that the further removed the claim is from the accident, the more difficult it will be to find reliable evidence. Additionally, people accused of wrongdoing from years before are often inadequately prepared to defend themselves because they never collected any evidence. Recognizing the unfairness in such situations, state governments introduced statutes limiting the amount of time that claims can be brought following an injury.
Tolling is a simple legal principle that extends the two-year deadline for filing a lawsuit. Tolling applies in rare situations where the injuries are so severe that the plaintiff is not able to comprehend the consequences of taking legal action or advocate on their own behalf. Generally, tolling of the statute of limitation is applicable in cases where the injured victim has been declared as:
- Being “unsound of mind” (often brought on by traumatic brain injuries); or
- Not having reached “the age of majority”
However, if the victim regains their sound mind or reaches the age of majority, the two-year period for filing claims goes back into effect from that day.
Consequences of Delaying Too Long
In most cases, it serves the interests of an injured victim to file a lawsuit as soon as possible. The closer the claim is filed to the accident, the clearer the witnesses’ memories will be, and the more likely key pieces of evidence will be retained. Additionally, immediate action on your part will function as proof of the severity of your injuries.
On the contrary, waiting too long to consult a lawyer is also quite significant. Due to the constant turnover at bars and restaurants, it can be challenging to locate service personnel after some time has passed. These lawsuits become much more challenging to prove without the actual servers of the drunk driver on the accident night.
Lastly, the more time a lawyer must prepare for a dram shop case, the better. Time management is crucial to the success of most dram shop cases. There are multiple parties involved and plenty of opportunities for miscommunication and misplaced evidence. Simply put, your case will be as strong as it can be if you give your attorney more time to prepare it.
Schedule your free case evaluation with Zinda Law Group Corpus Christi Dram Shop lawyers today
Knowing your legal options and pursuing compensation from those at fault for your accident is crucial following any type of drunk driving incident. Get the legal assistance you require right away if you were injured in a drunk driving accident caused by a patron who was overserved at a bar or restaurant. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 to discuss your dram shop accident claim and receive a free case evaluation from Zinda Law Group’s Corpus Christi dram shop lawyers.
If you or a loved one were injured by an intoxicated individual who was improperly served, a Corpus Christi drunk driving accident attorney can be there to help. By calling us today, you can have a Corpus Christi drunk driving accident lawyer from our firm provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation. Additionally, we offer a No Win, No Fee Guarantee, which means that you will pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your case.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.