Bemis, Roach & Reed no longer handles Personal Injury cases.
In an effort to provide better service to our clients,
we are focusing our practice primarily on
Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability claims.
We hope the following information is useful to you,
but if you need additional assistance please call us at 512-454-4000
and we will be happy to refer you to a reputable Personal Injury Attorney.
Thank you. – The Attorneys of Bemis, Roach & Reed
Not only do the general considerations that apply to every automobile, motorcycle, truck, and pedestrian claim, as outlined here apply to those injured by a drunk driver, additional considerations apply as well. The two primary considerations involve the obligation to punish the drunk driver, through both criminal and civil sanctions, and the determination of the responsibility of the provider of the alcohol.
While there are a variety of criminal sanctions available to punish the drunk driver, the majority of these sanctions are left up to the government and the victim does not have much input into the sanction. Civil law in Texas allows a victim to sue a drunk driver for punitive or exemplary damages. Not only do these damages punish the drunk driver, they provide additional compensation to the victim. Unlike the criminal system, it is the victim who has control over the amount sought in punitive damages. The only limitations to the victim’s recovery are the caps which are placed on such recoveries and, if the case proceeds to trial, the ultimate decision of the judge or jury.
The provider of alcohol can also be found liable for the conduct of the drunk driver if the facts fall within the parameters of liability set forth in the Texas Dram Shop Act. The Texas Dram Shop Act requires a plaintiff to prove that, when the alcohol was provided, the recipient “was obviously intoxicated to the extent that he presented a clear danger to himself and others,” and the recipient’s intoxication was a proximate cause of the damages suffered. Tex. Alco. Bev.Code § 2.02(b). If the plaintiff can meet this burden, the Act nevertheless affords providers a relatively simple safe-harbor. Tex. Alco. Bev.Code § 106.14(a) shields a provider from liability for its employee’s actions if the provider establishes that it required the employee to attend a training course approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the employee actually attended the course, and the provider did not encourage the employee to violate the Alcoholic Beverage Code. It is with this later issue that many alcohol providers stumble. You should also be aware of the fact that obtaining liability on the provider of alcohol was recently made even more difficult as a result of the decision of the Texas Supreme Court in F.F.P. Operating Partners v. Duenez. In the Duenez decision, the court held that the jury must apportion responsibility between the drunk driver and the alcohol provider. Prior to this ruling, the alcohol provider who violated the strict provisions of the Dram Shop Act was jointly and severally liable for the actions of the drunk driver. While Dram Shop cases have become more difficult, even under the current state of the law, injury lawyers at Bemis, Roach & Reed have successfully negotiated this mine field to obtain significant injury compensation for our clients.
Austin Texas Disability law firm Bemis, Roach & Reed provides legal services to disabled individuals throughout the State of Texas. If you or someone you know is in need of a successful Long Term disability lawyer or Social Security disability lawyer, call us toll free at (866) 433-4979 or contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Austin Texas Disability law firm Bemis, Roach & Reed provides legal services to disabled individuals throughout the State of Texas. If you or someone you know is in need of a successful Long Term disability lawyer or Social Security disability lawyer, call us at (512) 454-4000 or contact us to schedule a free consultation.
The Texas Disability Lawyers of Bemis, Roach & Reed
can help prepare you for your Social Security Disability hearing.
Or simply call 512-454-4000
to schedule your