Operating a motor vehicle after drinking is hazardous and a leading cause of yearly life-threatening crashes. Intoxicated driving is illegal, and when a motorist causes a collision due to drinking, they will face severe criminal penalties and civil liability.

If you or a loved one sustained severe injuries in a crash with an intoxicated motorist, you can fight to hold them financially accountable. Schedule a consultation with a compassionate car wreck attorney for help after drunk driving car accidents in Ballwin.

Missouri Dram Shop Laws

If a defendant is arrested for drinking and driving, this arrest is sufficient evidence of civil liability for a crash. Additionally, if this defendant was overserved by a restaurant, bar, nightclub, or similar establishment, the claimant can likely hold the entity accountable for their losses. However, a plaintiff must meet certain criteria to collect a settlement under the dram shop statute.

According to Missouri Revised Statute §167;537.053, if an owner or employee served alcohol to a patron when they knew or should have known the individual was under 21 or visibly intoxicated, the petitioner could have cause for civil action against the establishment. Simply, showing the driver had a blood alcohol content BAC of 0.08 percent or more is insufficient. Instead, there must be proof of visible intoxication.

Some of the potential evidence of visible intoxication includes:

  • The customer was unbalanced and stumbling before or at the time of the purchase
  • The individual was spilling drinks and knocking things over
  • The patron was slurring their speech
  • There was evident and significant impairment of motor functions

To prove an establishment knew or should have known the individual was under the legal drinking age, there must be evidence they failed to card them during the alcohol purchase. A Ballwin lawyer understands the intricacies of these dram shop laws and could help determine if holding an establishment accountable is an option after a drunk driving car accident.

Recoverable Damages After a Drunk Driving Crash

An award for damages in a drunk driving crash claim could cover the plaintiff’s out-of-pocket expenses and non-monetary losses. After proving the negligent party or parties is liable for damages, the court may award compensation to reimburse for:

  • The cost of current and ongoing medical care, including physical and psychological therapy
  • Loss of salary and benefits
  • Future earning potential or diminished capacity
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Permanent scarring, disfigurement, and disability
  • Mental and emotional pain and anguish

The state’s legal doctrine, negligence per se, establishes that individuals guilty of committing unlawful actions that result in others sustaining damages are automatically liable for these losses. After reviewing a drunk driving accident case, a dedicated attorney could answer questions about negligence and liability and help a plaintiff collect the payments they need to make a full recovery.

Discuss Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Ballwin with Our Team

Intoxicated driving is reckless and places everyone on the road roadways at risk. Therefore, anyone injured by a drunk driver’s actions should remember that they can fight to hold this person accountable.

If you are a victim of a crash caused by drunk driving, state laws provide protection and allow you to file a lawsuit to recover damages. A civil suit could compensate you for medical care, lost pay and benefits, psychological trauma, and physical pain. Call our experienced team to learn about drunk driving car accidents in Ballwin and get started on your case process.