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San Antonio Dram Shop Lawyers

Every year, the irresponsible consumption of alcohol causes thousands of injuries and even deaths in Texas. In 2021, there were 25,261 drunk driving crashes across the state, killing 1,029 people and leaving 2,522 others with serious injuries like the following:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Broken bones
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Soft tissue injuries

An estimated 24% of all traffic accident fatalities that year were connected to drunk driving, with many of them happening in San Antonio, which had the highest rate of DUI accidents per capita among large Texas cities in 2021.

However, drinking and driving isn’t the only cause of alcohol-related injury. Intoxication has been a factor in physical assaults, slip and fall injuries, and other preventable accidents. If you have been injured by an intoxicated driver or lost someone you love, you may be able to sue that person and the bar, club, or (depending on the circumstances) host that provided them with alcohol.

At the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, our San Antonio dram shop lawyers have years of experience holding these establishments and parties responsible for any harm caused by intoxicated patrons or guests. Using our extensive knowledge of Texas dram shop law, we will aggressively fight for the compensation you need to recover from severe injuries and rebuild your life.

Why Choose Us?

The Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS is a top-rated San Antonio personal injury law firm. Our mission is to provide skilled and assertive legal representation to those injured by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. When you work with us, you benefit from the following:

  • We know Texas personal injury law. Our drunk driving lawyers regularly deal with insurance companies, negotiate favorable settlements, and litigate dram shop liability cases in court when necessary.
  • We have access to medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and investigators who can help strengthen your case.
  • Our auto accident attorneys take cases on a contingency basis. This means that it costs you nothing to hire us for your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, and you only pay attorney fees if we win.

When you suffer a personal injury, it can be extremely stressful and overwhelming. Hiring a San Antonio personal injury firm can provide you and your family with peace of mind knowing that experienced professionals are handling the legal aspects of your case.

Texas Dram Shop Laws Explained

Dram shop laws were first introduced in Texas over 35 years ago. A Texas Supreme Court ruling in the case of El Chico v. Poole held that bars have a duty to the public to not knowingly serve alcohol to patrons who are already intoxicated. The state legislature responded by enacting what is known today as the Texas Dram Shop Act

Texas dram shop laws allow anyone injured by an intoxicated individual (i.e., a drunk driver) to file a personal injury lawsuit against the establishment or social host who over-served the defendant. Businesses that sell alcohol may be liable for a crash victim’s injuries if they served alcohol to-

  • A minor under the age of 18 or; 
  • A patron who was clearly drunk to the point that they could be a danger to themselves or others and
  • That person’s intoxication resulted in an automobile accident.

Unlike some states, Texas does not have all-encompassing social host liability laws. As a result, an injured party generally can’t sue those who over-serve family or friends in their own homes unless:

  • Those hosts are over the age of 21 and provide alcohol to someone under 18 years of age.
  • The host is not the minor’s spouse, parent, guardian, or legal custodian, and
  • The host knew that they were serving alcohol to a minor or allowing the minor to drink alcohol on their property.

To establish civil liability, an injured plaintiff must prove that:

  • The establishment sold, served, or provided alcohol to the individual who caused the injury or damages.
  • The individual was clearly intoxicated at the time the alcohol was served.
  • The establishment continued to serve the individual even though they were clearly intoxicated.
  • The individual’s intoxication was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s catastrophic injuries or damages.

As you can imagine, these cases can be difficult to prove, as few servers will admit to over-serving a drunk driver. The most common way to prove over-service is through circumstantial evidence, witness testimony, or the opinion of an expert toxicologist, all of which can be collected and assessed by an experienced drunk driving accident attorney.

Compensation in a San Antonio Dram Shop Liability Claim

When you’re injured in a drunk driving accident that involves dram shop liability, your compensation will depend on factors unique to your case. They include the monetary value of your losses, the extent of your injuries, and their anticipated impact on your life. Below is a list of some damages you may be entitled to after a severe accident:

  • Past and future medical expenses, such as ambulance rides, medical bills, doctor visits, physical therapy, and other related costs.
  • Lost wages and/or loss of earning ability
  • Property damage
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of consortium (for married injury victims)
  • Wrongful death damages like funeral and burial costs (for fatal accidents)

In some cases, accident victims may be entitled to punitive damages, which are designed to punish the establishment for its reckless or negligent behavior. These damages may apply if the place routinely sells alcohol to minors or has a history of overserving patrons who go on to have auto accidents. Your personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and help you determine what types of compensation you may potentially receive.


How Can a San Antonio Dram Shop Lawyer Help My Drunk Driving Accident Case?

When you’ve been injured in an alcohol-related accident, filing a civil lawsuit is only the first step. These drunk driving accident claims usually involve bars, casinos, restaurants, and other larger establishments protected by stubborn insurance providers and aggressive attorneys. Without legal representation, you could be facing a lowball offer at best and outright claim denial at worst.

A San Antonio drunk driving accident lawyer at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, will use their background and experience to deter any attempt to deny you the financial compensation you deserve. Once you retain our law firm, we will:

  • Investigate the Accident: Your dram shop law attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding your injury, including the establishment that served the alcohol, the drunk driver who caused the injury, and any other factors that may have contributed to the incident. This includes gathering evidence like the police report and accident scene photos, interviewing witnesses, and working with experts to build a strong case.
  • Establish Liability: Once we collect sufficient evidence, we can demonstrate that the establishment or social host served alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person and that the individual’s intoxication was a proximate cause of your injury or damages.
  • Determine Damages: We will determine the extent of your damages, including medical care expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. This may include working with experts to assess the long-term impact of your injuries.
  • Negotiate a Settlement: We will negotiate with the establishment or host’s insurance company on your behalf to reach a fair settlement. Should that prove impossible for any reason, we can represent you in court and fight for your rights.

A San Antonio personal injury lawyer can provide valuable legal guidance and advocacy in a personal injury case involving alcohol-related injuries or damages. Let our legal team help you navigate the system, protect your rights, and work towards a fair resolution of your case.

I Was Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident After a Bar Over-Served Me. Can I Sue the Bar?

Yes, it’s possible. Under the state’s liquor license laws, each establishment is responsible for providing proper service to its patrons. Therefore, an impaired driver who is injured in a collision can sue the establishment that over-served alcohol to them.

If this happens to you, your next step should be to contact a San Antonio dram shop lawyer who can investigate your case, determine if enough evidence exists to file a civil claim and help you determine what your next steps should be.

Injured in an Alcohol-Related Accident? Get a Free Consultation From a San Antonio Dram Shop Lawyer!

If you have been injured or lost a loved one after a host or establishment over-served alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person, it’s important to take action to protect your rights and seek justice. This includes speaking to a lawyer with a strong and successful background in Texas dram shop claims.

At the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, our experienced San Antonio personal injury attorneys are committed to helping individuals and families affected by these tragic situations. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to hold negligent establishments accountable and fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more about how we can help you file a personal injury or wrongful death claim, schedule your free consultation by calling (210) 800-0000 or contacting us online.