Drunk Driving Accidents

The State of Missouri recognizes a cause of action against establishments that serve alcohol to consumers who then in turn injure somebody else due to the consumer’s intoxication.  The laws that govern this cause of action are called Dram Shop Laws.  Missouri’s dram shop laws are contained in RSMo 537.053.

These laws set forth that an individual, or someone on their behalf, who has been injured by an intoxicated person may bring a claim against the establishment providing alcohol to the intoxicated party.  Critically, the injured party must show that the establishment knowingly served intoxicating liquor to a visibly intoxicated person.  The statute goes on to explain that a “visibly intoxicated” person is someone who is “inebriated to such an extent that the impairment is shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction”.

A common scenario that involves Missouri Dram Shop laws takes place when an intoxicated driver injures another driver on the road.  In that situation, the injured party of course has a cause of action against the driver but also may have a cause of action against the provider of the alcohol depending upon whether the condition of RSMo 537.053 are met.

Why Not Just Go After The Driver?

It goes without saying that the must culpable party in the above-referenced scenario is the drunk driver.  Despite this, as shown, Missouri Law recognizes the cause of action against the establishment.  There is though, a more practical reason for including the serving establishment in your case.  Injuries that involve drunk drivers tend to be catastrophic given the potential for high speeds and overall lack of care and concern for the general public.  When significant injuries occur, the amount of insurance coverage available becomes a key question.  Specifically, the amount of coverage the drunk driver has may not be enough to cover the injured party’s damages.  In Missouri, a driver is only required to carry $25,000.00 in liability coverage which can cause injured individuals to be left with large amounts of medical bills without any recourse.  Fortunately, when drunk drivers are involved, Missouri allows for injured individuals to recover financially from serving establishments.

Why You Need To Hire A Lawyer

When an attorney gets involved in a Dram Shop case, the serving establishment takes notice.  They began to realize that they can no longer take advantage of an injured person who is in a bad situation.  These establishments know that an attorney has the ability and resources to properly investigate the claim.  Likewise, an attorney understand all the facets of a Dram Shop claim giving you a distinct advantage against these establishments.  All in all, when an attorney gets involved, the establishment knows that the injured party means business.

What We Can Do For You

The Law Office of Steve Slough routinely handles Dram Shop cases.  The firm prides itself on standing up to these companies and fighting for injured victims.  We have experience in dealing with the companies and know how to quickly discredit the theories they use to deny your claim.

If you have been injured by someone else, please feel free to call our office for a free consultation.