DRAM SHOP FAQ

If you’ve been injured because of an intoxicated individual who was served at a bar, restaurant, or similar establishment, you may be eligible to recover damages under Texas’ Dram Shop Law. Here we answer some of your most asked questions about recovering under the law and show you how the right attorney can help your claim to be successful.

  • Do all states have a Dram Shop law?

    The majority of states, including Texas, have dram shop laws in place. States that do not have a dram shop law include Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota and Virginia.

  • What happens if I am a bar patron who suffers harm because I was over-served? Can I sue the bar?

    Yes, a first-party dram shop claim can be initiated if you are a patron that was over served and you later caused harm to another individual. This right was established under the Texas Supreme Court case Smith v. Sewell.

  • Is a private host liable in Texas if I leave their home intoxicated and am involved in a drunk driving accident?

    Whether a private host is liable for harm to a third party after a social event at their home depends on the state in which it occurs. In Texas, a private host can be held liable for damages only if they sell the alcohol to an intoxicated guest or if they sell alcohol to minors. Simply providing the alcohol for free is not enough to trigger the dram shop law. The plaintiff in these cases can recover a myriad of damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, pain and suffering and funeral expenses.

  • I suffered property damage to my vehicle because of a drunk driver. Can I still recover under dram shop laws if I didn’t experience physical injuries?

    Yes, a third party whose vehicle was damaged by an over-served driver can recover for damages to their vehicle. The extent of damages to your vehicle will dictate the amount of damages you can recover.

  • What if a patron arrives at an establishment already intoxicated, is not served, and then leaves and causes harm? Does the dram shop rule still apply?

    No. In order for the dram shop law to apply, the establishment in question must have served alcohol to either an intoxicated person or someone under the legal drinking age. The proper course of action is to sue the establishment that over served alcohol.

  • What are the next steps if I think I am entitled to compensation under Texas’ dram shop law?

    If you have been injured by an intoxicated person who was over served by an establishment or private host, your first step should be to receive medical attention for your injuries.

    When your medical condition is stable, contact an experienced dram shop lawyer in Texas. The dram shop liability lawyers at the Law Offices of Colby Lewis offer zealous representation of victims and can get you the compensation you deserve for damages caused by negligence. Contact Colby today to receive relentless representation of your rights.