Every week, people are killed in drunk driving accidents around Texas. Unfortunately, this continues to be a major problem and can lead to significant injuries and death. Texas leads the nation in fatal drunk driving accidents as reported recently by news outlets. In fact, every 20 minutes in Texas someone is injured or killed by a motor vehicle accident involving alcohol.
Under Texas law, driving while intoxicated means having a blood-alcohol level “BAC” of 0.08 or higher. Irrespective of the blood-alcohol level, if someone appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol they may be arrested.
If you have been hit by a drunk driver, it is imperative that you call the police. Do not allow the driver to get back into the vehicle and drive from the scene of the accident. If the other driver escapes from the scene, take a picture of the license plate of the vehicle and note the make and model of the vehicle and provide it to the police. Utilizing the license plate information, the police can obtain the address and personal information for the driver.
Drunk driving accidents can lead to 2 separate causes of action: 1) a claim against the driver and 2) a potential claim against the bar, restaurant, hotel or nightclub that over served the driver. When filing a case against the other driver, we obtain a background check that includes criminal history to see whether the driver has a history of drunk driving. Unfortunately, we often find that these drivers are repeat offenders. If the driver is charged with drunk driving, we will work with the prosecutor on the case to obtain necessary information regarding the other driver.
“Dram Shop” Cases- Drunk Driving Cases Against Establishments
As mentioned above, if a drunk driver is coming from a bar, restaurant, hotel or nightclub, there may be a cause of action against the establishment that over served the driver. These cases are known as “dram shop” cases.
One of the ways that we can prove liability against the business who provided alcohol to the Defendant is by obtaining receipts from the establishment, business records, photographs or videotapes and sworn testimony from servers or witnesses.
Some of the damages that you may be entitled to if involved in a drunk driving motor vehicle accident is as follows:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Property damage
- Future medical
It is important to consult with an experienced attorney that can look at your case to determine whether you may have a potential dram shop case. These cases can be complicated to pursue and having the right legal team is vital.