Labor Day is traditionally a time for people to be out on the roads, having one last hurrah before autumn begins. However, because so many people are usually on vacation or trying to get to their vacations, it does mean that Texas roads can become somewhat dangerous. While traffic may be less than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still worth taking particular care on Labor Day weekend, lest you wind up in an accident that could have been avoided.
DUI Accidents Are Common
Last year, Texas troopers handed out over 102,000 citations and warnings, with roughly 1,200 arrests, in the three day period, and an untold number of civil lawsuits stemming from the same incidents. The most common types of civil lawsuits that occur as a result of Labor Day accidents are those involving driving under the influence and those where a passenger is injured. While it is often fairly simple to establish liability in cases involving drunk or high drivers, it is difficult for many injured passengers to determine just who might be liable for the harm they suffered.
If you are injured by a driver you believe was under the influence of something, you have several options to establish liability, either against the driver themselves or in some cases, against the third party that overserved them (referred to as a dram shop lawsuit). Texas’ dram shop law allows an injured plaintiff to file suit against an establishment that allegedly overserved a drunk driver, assuming that the driver was “obviously intoxicated” enough to present a “clear danger” to themselves or others.
Injured as a Passenger?
If you are a passenger in someone’s carpool, determining who was the cause of your injuries can sometimes be difficult. The fault may lay with the other driver in the accident, or it could conceivably lay with the driver of your vehicle (or with both drivers, for that matter). Many passengers decline to seek compensation for their injuries because they fear having to file suit against the friend or relative whose car they were in – but in reality, this is almost never necessary. Lawsuits of this type are usually filed against your friend’s insurer, not against them personally.
It is also worth noting that while the temptation to wait and allow your injuries to heal may feel better, so as to avoid dragging a friend or relative into court, in reality, it is not a good idea to wait because Texas law has a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. You must file suit within 2 years of the accident, and if you decide to wait for months until your injuries are healed, you will likely not have enough time to prepare to file suit against the insurance company.
Call a New Braunfels Accident Attorney
While Labor Day is traditionally seen as the last gasp of summer, it is still a time when extra caution is a good idea. If you are involved in a car crash on Labor Day weekend, contacting a skilled New Braunfels accident attorney from the Bettersworth Law Firm can be the first step toward determining how best to handle the issues that have arisen. Call our offices today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.