In this blog entry, we discuss serious injury and wrongful death from drunk drivers . Often, this driver carries no or minimal insurance. Baseluos Law Firm strives to maximize all sources of insurance coverage to compensate the seriously injured. To do this, Michael Baseluos and his investigators search for all factors behind the intoxicated driver including how the driver received his alcohol. Traditionally, it was not necessarily unlawful to sell or provide alcoholic beverages to adults. However, many states including Texas have passed laws called “dram shop acts” which assesses liability against establishments that supply alcohol to drivers who negligently injure others persons or property.
For a liquor provider, the basic Texas dram shop liability act investigates several factors including whether the provider broke the law in selling or giving the alcohol to the DWI driver; whether such alcohol was the proximate cause of his intoxication (oftentimes, the drunk driver has received alcohol from a number of providers prior to a major accident); whether the provider knew or should have known that the defendant DUI / DWI driver was below the legal age of 21 or heavily intoxicated at the time the alcohol was furnished; whether it was objectively obvious the person was intoxicated or was underage at the time; and finally, whether the intoxication level was the primary driving factor behind a DWI / DUI death or serious injury.
The seminal case that has driven the enactment of dram shop liability laws was a NJ case called Rappaport v. Nichols , which held that a bar could be held legally liable for furnishing alcohol to an underage or visibly intoxicated individual who thereafter commits a DWI / DUI offense that kills or seriously injures pedestrians or other drivers.