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Texas Personal Injury News

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Suing Estates and Bar Owners for DUI Deaths

Q: Who can be sued if the drunk driver who caused the accident also died?

While state laws-- as well as the particular circumstances of an automobile accident-- differ, people who are seriously hurt (or the survivors of those who are killed) by a drunk driver who was also killed in the accident still may have legal recourse.

First, if someone is killed as a result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inactions of another person or entity, the closest surviving relatives of the victim can commence a wrongful death lawsuit to recover monetary damages.

Compensatory damages differ on a case-by-case basis but generally include the victim’s final medical and burial expenses as well as the survivor’s loss of financial support and loss of consortium due to the victim’s death. If the person liable for the accident was also killed in the accident, a claim may be made against the estate of the responsible party, if any.

In addition, in the event of a drunk driving accident, if a bar or tavern served the drunk driver alcohol prior to the accident, it may also be sued, again depending on state law and the particular circumstances.

Texas Dram Shop laws allow victims to sue bar and tavern establishments if they served alcohol to someone who is drunk or under age and that person thereafter causes death or injury to others in a drunk driving or alcohol-related accident.

Last year, a man leaving his wife’s grave was reportedly struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver whose toxicology tests allegedly showed a blood alcohol level over “three times the legal limit” as well as “traces of several drugs including two painkillers and at least one antidepressant”. The woman, who was reportedly traveling at 82 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone was also killed in the accident. She had reportedly consumed alcohol during lunch with her sister in an establishment.

The victim’s family has filed suit against both the woman’s estate and the establishment that allegedly served her the alcohol.

If you or a loved one has been injured, or loved one has been killed, due to someone else’s actions, the personal injury attorneys at Chandler, Mathis and Zivley can help maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Lufkin and Houston, we represent accident victims and their families throughout Texas as well as those injured while visiting the Lone Star State.

 


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