Experienced Trial Lawyers

Can a business be liable for a Texas drunk driving wreck?

Oct 5, 2022 | DWI

Determining fault for a motor vehicle collision is an important step for the people affected by a wreck. The liability-based insurance program in Texas allows those dealing with injuries or property damage expenses to file an insurance claim. You will make a claim against the coverage carried by the driver who caused the wreck. Sometimes, your own insurance can help if theirs is insufficient and you have coverage beyond the state minimum requirements.

Sometimes, crashes cause such serious injuries or such expensive damage that the people affected need to take the driver to civil court and seek more compensation in a lawsuit. Some of the worst crashes that occur on the Texas roads involve drunk drivers.

Unfortunately, those intoxicated motorists may not have enough insurance to cover costs after a crash, and they may not have enough personal property either. Is it possible to hold a business accountable for a recent drunk driving crash?

Yes, if they over-served a patron

Texas has a dram shop law that creates civil liability for businesses that serve alcohol to the public. If the wait staff at a bar or restaurant served alcohol to a minor or to someone who was already visibly intoxicated, the business could have liability if the patron left and caused a crash because of their impaired state.

Bars and restaurants typically carry insurance to protect against that kind of liability, and they also have more assets than the average driver.

Yes, if they employed someone who was a dangerous driver

In a scenario where the person who hit you while drunk was on the clock at their job, their employer may be at least partially before the losses that you suffer.

There may be a business insurance policy that applies, and grounds for a claim against the company. Especially if you can show that there was reason for them to question the driver’s ability or to know about their history of substance abuse use, you may be able to make a claim against a company if its worker doesn’t have enough insurance or property to fully compensate you.

Looking into all of your options after a drunk driving crash in Texas can help you cover the massive expenses that result from a crash.