DeSimone Law Office has represented many clients who were involved in traffic accidents with drivers driving while intoxicated, also known as DWI.
Clients injured by drunk drivers are entitled to their monies for medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and pain and suffering. They may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages that punish the drunk driver for their grossly negligent conduct.
Of course, in addition to the civil damages, the drunk driver faces criminal charges that could result in jail time. Drunk drivers tend to be involved in some of the most violent and destructive accidents. Their victims often die or are left with lifetime disabilities that will require a lifetime of continuing medical care. These catastrophic accidents often cause personal injury damages greater than what the drunk driver has in insurance coverage.
Unfortunately, many drunk drivers will not have enough insurance to cover the cost of their victim’s personal injuries. Sometimes the drunk driver has no insurance at all, potentially leaving the injured party with no way to be compensated for their injuries. Uninsured motorist coverage can kick in, but if the damages are great enough it will not cover all of the injured party’s damages.
While it is obvious that the drunk driver is liable for the DWI victim’s injuries, it is often not obvious as to who else would be responsible. Under certain circumstances, a bar or club that served the driver alcoholic beverages to the point of intoxication can be held liable for the accident. This method for recovery would be under the Texas Dram Shop Act. A dram shop is a place where alcoholic beverages are sold. The beverages used to be measured in drams, thus the name of the act. If the owner of a bar, club, or tavern serves an alcoholic beverage to a person that was “obviously intoxicated to the extent that he presented a clear danger to himself and others” at the time he was sold the alcohol, there is a cause of action against the bar owner by any victim of a car accident that was proximately caused by the intoxication.
These cases are hard to prove up and there are exceptions to the rule, but it is still a venue for DWI accident victims to explore for compensation for their injuries. One of the most important things that needs to be done at the beginning of the case is to determine who served the drunk driver alcoholic beverages. Action needs to be taken immediately after the accident to secure any witness statements from persons at the club where the drunk driver was served to prove that the bar or club knew the drunk driver was intoxicated but continued to serve alcohol anyway.
If you have been the accident victim of a drunk driver, call an attorney experienced in handling DWI cases, including Dram Shop Actions. They will immediately investigate the case to determine all of the at fault parties and secure the evidence to prove up the case and obtain not only the money you are entitled to for your personal injury and property damages, but punitive damages as well.