For many victims of drunk driving accidents, they believe that these types of situations are cut and dry. They don’t think of any other party being responsible for the crash other than the drunk driver. While this is true for many of the drunk driving accidents that occur, there are other factors to consider.
One thing to consider is whether or not another party played a part in the drunk driving accident. Not all states have laws that allow injured parties to seek compensation from a third party, but some have what is called dram shop liability. Missouri is one of the states that allow for this type of lawsuit.
What Is Dram Shop Law?
Under Missouri law, dram shop liability allows for individuals injured in a drunk driving crash to seek legal action against any bar, restaurant, establishment, or in some cases, a social host, when their actions help contribute to the accident.
For instance, if an individual walks into a bar and is already visibly intoxicated, the bar serves the patron even more alcohol and allows them to drive, any accident that occurs may be partially the fault of that bar.
Does Dram Shop Liability Take Fault Off the Driver?
One thing to understand is that legal action taken under dram shop law is considered additional to the civil lawsuit an injured party takes against the drunk driver. The drunk driver is still at fault for the accident and the injury.
However, the injured party may also take legal action against the responsible establishment as a way to punish them for their actions and for allowing an already drunk individual—or minor—to become even more impaired and then letting them drive.
These matters can be difficult to understand, but we hope that this information is helpful to you. Drunk driving is a problem that needs to stop.