October 26, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- A recent drunk driving accident resulted in the death of an 18-year-old Caney Creek High School senior. The young woman was driving along the Sam Houston Parkway when another vehicle, allegedly driving at speeds over 130 mph by an intoxicated Erasmo Ramirez, collided with her pickup truck.
The force of the collision caused the bed to separate from the cab of the truck and become airborne. The truck bed ultimately landed on and crushed the cab. The high school senior suffered serious injuries from the drunk driving accident and died the next morning. Mr. Ramirez was charged and pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter.
The young woman's family filed a lawsuit against the establishment that allegedly served excessive amounts of alcohol to the driver responsible for the car crash. The complaint states that the men's club in Houston continued to serve Mr. Ramirez even after he was clearly intoxicated.
The complaint further alleges that the club's employees continued to serve alcohol to Mr. Ramirez based on the establishment's policy on over-serving drinks. The lawsuit claims that the men's club offered incentives to employees based on how many alcoholic beverages they sold every evening and only stopped serving Mr. Ramirez after he was unable to pay his bill.
The lawsuit poses an interesting question: Can an establishment be held responsible for the actions of a drunk driver if they contributed to the intoxication by serving the driver too much alcohol?
Are Those Who Serve Alcohol Responsible?
The short answer is yes. In the state of Texas it is illegal to sell an alcoholic beverage to a clearly intoxicated person.
The area of law applied in such situations, referred to as dram shop liability, can be complex. Texas law provides that a bar, restaurant, men's club or other establishment licensed to sell alcohol can be sued by an injured party for serving alcoholic beverages to an already intoxicated patron.
Although victims can attempt to hold the intoxicated driver accountable for injuries, dram shop liability may provide an additional means of compensation, especially when the driver does not have sufficient assets or car insurance. This law is designed specifically to deter establishments that serve alcohol from serving minors and obviously intoxicated individuals. If an establishment violates this law, the business may be held at least partially accountable for injuries that result.
Dram Shop Liability
In order to make a dram shop claim and hold the establishment that served alcohol to the drunk driver responsible, the injured party must prove:
-The server knew the patron was intoxicated
-The patron's intoxication presented a clear danger to both the patron and others
-The alcohol served by the establishment led to the injury suffered by the victim
Making a strong dram shop liability case can be difficult. If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident and suspect that a restaurant, bar or other establishment contributed to the accident by over-serving the incapacitated driver, compensation may be available to help cover the cost of medical and rehabilitative expenses, as well as pain and suffering.
Every situation is unique. Contact an experienced drunk driving accident attorney to discuss your available legal remedies.
Article provided by The Freeman Law Firm, P.C.
Visit us at http://www.thefreemanlawfirm.com---
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