Under Texas dram shop laws, an establishment that serves alcohol to a person who is obviously intoxicated can be held liable for the actions of the customer if he later harms someone. This was exactly the situation on February 1, 2014, when our client, a college student from the DFW area, was hit by a drunk driver after leaving work at 3:30 in the afternoon. In pursuing compensation for her devastating injuries, we discovered that the drunk driver had been served a significant amount of alcohol by a Lubbock bar despite being intoxicated when he arrived there. We sought damages from the bar for the full amount of its insurance coverage and won on our client’s behalf.
How We Proved the Bar’s Liability
Attorney Brad Parker, after a thorough investigation of the events of that tragic day, sent a settlement demand to the bar’s insurance company. The 22-page demand letter provided evidence not only of our client’s significant losses but of the drunk driver’s actions that led to the crash, including drinking at two Lubbock bars from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The demand letter made the second bar’s liability undeniable by including the following as evidence:
- A description of our client’s accomplishments and her dreams for the future. Our client was a bright, young college student at Texas Tech University who had planned to become a doctor.
- Pictures from the scene of the crash, including a diagram of the accident. Photos of our victim’s car were also included to illustrate the seriousness of the crash.
- Medical records showing the catastrophic injuries our client suffered as a result of the crash, including a pelvic fracture, broken ribs, ruptured bladder, brain contusions, fracture of the C1 vertebrae, skull fracture, and more.
- A detailed accounting of the medical treatment she underwent in the months following the crash and her prognosis for recovery. Our client endured many weeks in the hospital and in a rehabilitation center, hours of physical and cognitive therapy, and round-the-clock care in her own home.
- To prove that the bar knowingly served an intoxicated customer, we provided bar receipts and surveillance video of the drunk driver in the bar. The video also showed the bar’s manager doing shots with the drunk driver.
Because of the thoroughness and level of detail of the evidence we provided, the insurance company could hardly deny our demand for compensation for the full amount of the bar’s policy.
Compelling the Insurance Company to Settle
While we were fully prepared to go to trial if the insurance company refused to meet our demand, Attorney Parker knew that it was in the bar’s best interest to settle. He presented a compelling argument in order to get our client as much money as possible as quickly as possible. Our client’s family had mounting medical bills to pay and a trial could have meant they would not see any money for months, if not years. By waiting to determine the extent of our client’s injuries and her prognosis for recovery and putting the legwork into the settlement demand, we were able to secure the best possible outcome for our client.
Attorney Brad Parker has over 30 years of experience in catastrophic injury claims. He puts his client first when pursuing compensation following a devastating car, truck, or motorcycle crash. Contact Parker Law Firm today if you or a loved suffered injuries in a vehicle crash in Texas.