Alcohol Related Injury and Accidents in Texas Law
Texas law imposes liability on alcoholic beverage providers for damages caused by the intoxication of individuals served by the provider (such as a bartender) if the individual being served is already obviously intoxicated to the extent that they present a clear danger to themselves and others.
Although the Texas legislature has passed laws creating liability of providers who over serve, the Texas Supreme Court has established a "safe harbor" defense wherein the actions of an employee over serving someone cannot be assigned to the employer if the employer requires its employees to attend training and the server did not directly or indirectly encouraged employee to over drink.
Of course Texas law also provides those injured in automobile accidents where alcohol is present in the driver's blood at the time of accident. A person who is driving under the influence of alcohol may be responsible for the injuries to any passengers sustained during an accident as well as being subject to criminal penalties for driving while intoxicated.
A person who is injured as a result of the negligent actions of a drunk driver may file a civil claim for compensation that is separate from any criminal charges that the driver may also be facing from the state. The injured party may be entitled to recover financial damages for medical bills, loss of income, as well as pain and suffering resulting from the accident.
A victim of assault or someone is who is injured as a bystander in a bar fight or brawl outside a bar may also be able to collect damages for their injuries from the establishment. in most cases the injured party must prove what is called "proximate cause" meaning if the injury was directly related to the inebriated person is of consuming alcohol at that particular drinking establishment.
The standard for deciding whether a bar employee should have recognized a patron's level of intoxication is hazy. The court must decide if it was foreseeable to the employee that the person was already visibly intoxicated. The standard is not measured by how many drinks a person has had but how the alcohol has affected them visibly.
Hosts of social gatherings which serve alcohol may also be subject to civil liability for guests that over drink. Employers that host parties for their workforce may be held liable for employees that drive in an inebriated state after an office party or other company-sponsored event.
Texas law states that an employer must exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries by intoxicated employees. This can includes keeping track of the level of intoxication of their guests, providing alternate transportation and/or taking steps to prevent and intoxicated guests from driving.
John Q. Lawyer
Attorney at Law
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Accident-Alcohol Related 00000000