According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving kills 28 people each day, or about 1 person every 52 minutes in the United States.

A driver who is under the influence of alcohol can be responsible for the injury or unwarranted death of another individual. Those who choose to drink and drive must be held liable for their actions.

Learn how you can seek compensation for a drunk driving accident from your Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze and Johns, PLLC.

Drunk Driving Liability

In most crashes involving drunk driving, the driver who was under the influence is likely to be held liable.

Texas is a modified comparative fault state, which means that if you are more at fault than the other party, you may not be entitled to damages from the crash. Because of this rule, it’s important that you prove the other party was at-fault for the crash.

To prove that a driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash, there are several ways to collect evidence:

    • Blood alcohol test
    • Field sobriety test
    • Eye-witness testimony

This evidence is crucial in proving that the driver was intoxicated and should be held liable for the crash. An experienced Houston car accident attorney can help you collect this evidence to use in your legal claim.

Gross Negligence

In Texas, a person is guilty of gross negligence when there is more than just a momentary lapse in judgment, thought, or intentional action. This person’s lack of judgment and decision-making skills must cause greater harm.

If the drunk driver is guilty of gross negligence, this can increase the chances of the victim receiving punitive damages. If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, speak to your attorney about whether you could prove gross negligence in your case.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not awarded to the victim to reimburse them for losses they’ve faced in a crash. This type of damage is a monetary award given to the victim to punish the at-fault party for their negligence in the crash.

Once your attorney has proven that the drunk driver is guilty of gross negligence, you may be entitled to punitive damages. However, in Texas, there is a cap on the amount you can receive for punitive damages in a drunk driving injury case. The amounts you’re entitled to include:

    • Two times the amount of economic damages (medical bills and lost wages) that do not exceed $750,000.
    • An amount equal to noneconomic damages (pain and suffering), that does not exceed $200,000.

If gross negligence can be proven in your drunk driving injury case, then you could be awarded a significant amount in punitive damages. An experienced Houston car accident attorney can help you prove gross negligence and get the financial relief you deserve.

Dram Shop Liability

In Texas, a victim of a drunk driving crash can pursue a dram shop liability lawsuit. This legal claim goes against bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and other establishments that sold alcohol to the intoxicated driver.

You can hold a Texas business liable if it:

    • Served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person who presented a clear danger to themselves or others.
    • Served alcohol to a minor who went on to cause a drunk driving accident.

The victim of a drunk driving accident can file a dram shop liability lawsuit in addition to any other legal claims against the drunk driver and their insurance company.

If a Texas business is found guilty in a dram shop liability lawsuit, they can be held financially responsible for any property damage, physical injuries, or wrongful death caused by the drunk driver.

Seek Compensation in Your Drunk Driving Accident With Lapeze & Johns

If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving accident, chances are you have faced an enormous amount of physical, mental, and emotional damage. The intoxicated driver that caused your car accident must be held liable for their actions. An experienced Houston car accident attorney can prove the liability of the drunk driver and help you seek financial relief.

Schedule a FREE case review with your Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns to get started on your legal claim.

If you’ve been injured in a drunk-driving accident, reach out to your Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns to seek financial relief.

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About Keith Lapeze

Keith Lapeze co-founded Lapeze & Johns with the focus of delivering dependable legal services to individuals hurt in accidents caused by negligence. After graduating third in his class from Louisiana State University Law Center, Mr. Lapeze continued his calling through commercial, environmental, and tort litigation where he is admitted to practice in both Texas and Louisiana, the United States Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Read more about Keith Lapeze here.