Fatal Drunk Driving Accidents
Perhaps the only thing worse than losing a loved one unexpectedly is knowing that your loved one’s death could have been prevented. All drivers are required to drive responsibly, and when drivers breach this duty by driving while drunk, it often causes fatal accidents. Losing a loved one in a fatal car accident caused by a drunk driver can be life-shattering, resulting in substantial emotional and financial harm. In this situation, it is crucial to consult an experienced Fort Worth drunk driving accident lawyer to discuss your options for pursuing damages. For almost 40 years, Attorney Bill Berenson has been assisting families in pursuing compensation for harm caused by a fatal drunk driving accident.Liability for Drunk Drivers
Typically, each year, over 1,000 people lose their lives in car accidents caused by drunk drivers in Texas. Drunk driving accidents make up close to 40% of all vehicular fatalities throughout the state. In Texas, it is illegal for drivers to operate their vehicles on public roads if they are intoxicated. The Texas Penal Code defines intoxication as having an alcohol concentration of .08% or higher, or a lack of normal mental and physical faculties due to the consumption of alcohol. People who drive while intoxicated not only can face criminal penalties but also can be held civilly liable for any harm that they cause.
A person pursuing damages for a fatal drunk driving accident in a civil lawsuit will typically set forth a negligence claim. Recovering damages under a claim of negligence requires a plaintiff to show that the defendant owed a duty of care, which was breached. The plaintiff must also show that the breach caused an accident to occur, and the accident caused the plaintiff to sustain harm. While the duty owed usually is what a reasonable person would do under similar circumstances, in cases in which a duty is established by law, a violation of the law constitutes negligence per se. Thus, if your loved one was killed in a fatal drunk driving accident, and the driver was charged with driving while intoxicated, you will have strong evidence in support of your claim that the driver was negligent and should be held liable for your damages.Liability of Bars and Restaurants
If you lost a loved one due to a fatal car accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be owed compensation from a bar or restaurant that served the driver alcohol prior to the accident. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code specifically allows for liability to be imposed on any party licensed to sell alcohol that serves, sells, or provides alcohol to a person who is obviously intoxicated to the extent that the person presents a clear danger to themselves and others if the person’s intoxication proximately causes harm.
Even if you do not have direct evidence that the driver was served alcohol while obviously intoxicated, you may still be able to prove that the bar or restaurant that served the driver should be held liable through circumstantial evidence. For example, you can establish the driver’s level of intoxication with the help of a toxicologist, who can testify regarding the level of intoxication that would be present in a person who consumed as much alcohol as the driver. An experienced car accident attorney can assist you in identifying and gathering any evidence that will support the position that the party that served the intoxicated driver should be held accountable for any harm caused by the driver.Meet with an Aggressive Fort Worth Attorney to Discuss Your Wrongful Death Claim
Drunk drivers recklessly risk other people's lives, and when they cause fatal accidents, they should be held accountable to the full extent permitted by the law. If you suffered the loss of a loved one due to a fatal drunk driving accident, it is vital to retain a skilled wrongful death lawyer to assist you in seeking damages. Attorney Bill Berenson will aggressively pursue the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to recover for your loved one’s death. Our firm's main office is located in Fort Worth, and we are also available by appointment at offices in Arlington, Addison, Dallas, and Houston. We represent families in lawsuits arising out of fatal drunk driving accidents in Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington, other cities in North Texas, and all across Texas. You can contact us through our online form or at 817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-801-8585 to schedule a meeting to discuss your case.