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Austin Dram Shop Lawyers

While drunk driving is a problem throughout Texas, Austin has an especially high rate of incidents. Its high population and abundance of bars, restaurants, and lounges result in several DUI accidents every year, some of which are fatal.

If you’re driving home after the late shift and seriously injured by an impaired driver, you may be able to file a claim against the bar that over-served them. Like many states, Texas has a dram shop law that lets anyone injured by an intoxicated individual sue the Austin establishment (and, in some cases, the social host) that supplied the defendant with alcohol despite clear signs of impairment.

Filing such a lawsuit isn’t easy, though. Few bar owners or servers will admit that they over-served a driver who went on to injure or kill someone. You need help from an Austin dram shop lawyer who knows how to get past uncooperative defendants and collect the evidence needed to support your compensation claim.

At the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, we know how to hold these establishments responsible for their negligence. Our Austin drunk driving attorneys have decades of combined experience negotiating settlements for clients injured by the reckless or negligent actions of another party and won’t accept anything less than maximum compensation for your claim.

Why Work With Us?

The Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS is an Austin personal injury law firm that knows how to get results. Many of our dedicated auto accident attorneys have achieved recognition for their accomplishments, and our goal is always to win the outcome you need to move forward after an accident.

Here are some reasons why you should choose us as your Austin dram shop lawyers:

  • We have a proven track record of success in handling cases similar to yours. In fact, we focus exclusively on Texas personal injury law, so our auto accident lawyers know how to create a compelling case.
  • We prioritize client well-being. When you hire us, we’re immediately invested in your success and will give your claim the personalized attention it deserves. 
  • We have access to extensive resources, such as medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and other professionals who can make your case even stronger.
  • Our reputation within the legal community and among former clients is second to none. We invite you to check out our testimonials and see what our other clients have to say about working with us.

Suffering a personal injury can be a traumatic and emotional event. Our experienced attorneys in Austin show empathy and compassion throughout the legal process, demonstrating our commitment to you as well as your case.

An Overview of Texas Dram Shop Laws

The Texas Dram Shop Act holds bars, restaurants, and other establishments that serve alcohol liable for damages caused by an intoxicated customer. The law allows those who have been injured or otherwise harmed by a drunk driver to sue the business if it over-served alcohol to-

  • A minor under the age of 18 or; 
  • An adult patron who was obviously intoxicated and posed a danger to themselves or others. The law defines “obviously intoxicated” as a state of being where a person’s mental or physical faculties are significantly impaired due to the consumption of alcohol.

If a Texas business over-serves someone who then causes harm, the business may be held liable for damages caused by the intoxicated driver. This can include legal action to recover medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

It’s important to note that the Texas Dram Shop Act does have some limitations. For example, the law only applies to businesses that serve alcohol and not to social hosts unless:

  • The host is over the age of 21 and serves alcohol to someone under the age of 18 and;
  • The host is not the spouse, parent, or guardian of that minor and;
  • They knew that they were serving alcohol to a minor or allowing them to consume alcohol on their property.

Proving a Dram Shop Act violation can be challenging for several reasons.

  • Injury victims must prove that the provider served alcohol to a customer who was drunk to the point where they presented a clear danger to themselves or others. This can be difficult to demonstrate, as it requires evidence that the provider knew or should have known that the customer was intoxicated at the time of service.
  • There is often a lack of direct evidence in dram shop liability cases. Unlike other types of personal injury cases, there may not be witnesses or physical evidence to demonstrate that the provider served alcohol to an obviously intoxicated customer. This can make it challenging for accident victims to build a strong case.

Prevailing in these cases requires high levels of legal expertise. At the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, we know what evidence to look for and how to present it in a way that demands a fair settlement. To learn more, contact our Austin office to request your free consultation.

Average Settlements in Austin Dram Shop Cases

Because every case is unique, there is no average settlement in Austin dram shop cases. When your lawyer prepares a settlement demand for the bar or restaurant’s insurance company, it is based on your actual damages and how your injuries are expected to impact your life. These losses may include the following:

  • Current and future medical expenses, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and physical therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Wrongful death claim losses such as funeral costs and burial fees

If your case goes to trial, the court may award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. These awards are intended to punish the at-fault party and serve as a deterrent to others. Although they don’t apply to every case, your attorney may request them if (for example) the bar had a history of over-serving patrons who went on to cause accidents.


How Can an Austin Dram Shop Lawyer Help Me?

Drunk driving accidents can result in serious injuries, including brain damage, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and even death. In addition to physical injuries, victims may also suffer emotional trauma, lost wages, and other financial losses.

If you’ve been injured after a bar over-served a patron, an Austin drunk driving accident lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal system and fight for your rights. When you hire the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, we will-

  • Help you understand your legal rights and options, such as filing a personal injury lawsuit against the bar or social host and seeking financial compensation through their insurance providers.
  • Conduct an independent investigation into the accident to gather evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records. The success of your dram shop liability claim can hinge on the strength of the evidence produced.
  • Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your accident injuries.
  • Represent you before a judge and jury if the insurer fails or refuses to pay the compensation you deserve.

When it comes to protecting your legal rights and receiving fair compensation, hiring a personal injury lawyer is essential. Once you’ve secured legal representation, you can focus on recovering from your injuries while knowing that your case is in experienced hands.

How Long Do I Have to File a Dram Shop Claim in Austin?

In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is generally two years from the date of the injury or accident. This means that if you don’t file your claim within two years, you may lose your right to pursue compensation for your damages. 

While there are some exceptions to this rule, it’s always best to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney to better understand your situation and the applicable time limits. At the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, we would be pleased to meet with you and explain the next steps for filing your claim.

Injured by a Drunk Driver? Get a Free Consultation From an Austin Dram Shop Lawyer!

While bars and restaurants naturally seek profits, this should not include over-serving intoxicated patrons who can go on to injure or kill others on the road. When a negligent establishment fails to be conscientious or vigilant in this regard, it can be held liable for any injuries that result.

When a crash involving a drunk driver leaves you with devastating injuries, you should not be on the hook for your medical bills, lost income, and other damages. At the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, our dedicated Austin dram shop lawyers will use our extensive experience to fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. 

We take personal injury cases on a contingency basis, so you owe us nothing until we win your case. To learn more, schedule your free consultation with our legal team today by calling (512) 800-0000 or contacting us online.