St. Louis drunk driving accidents commonly involve high-speed collisions, catastrophic or fatal injuries, and low amounts of insurance coverage. It is up to an
experienced Missouri dram shop lawyer to investigate each DUI accident for a potential liability claim against the bar, restaurant, or tavern that happened to be serving intoxicating liquors to the driver who caused the crash.
Dram shop liability lawsuits have quite a few challenges that must be addressed very carefully if your lawyer intends on presenting the evidence necessary to win your case.
Missouri dram shop cases can include not only restaurants and bars, but also convenient stores and grocery stores that also have a liquor license. It is the liquor license that carries with it responsibility to the public not to overserve already intoxicated patrons.
Some states don't even allow for a cause of legal action based on dram shop liability. And those states that do allow for causes of action based on
civil dram shop liability, do so on a very limited basis. There are two very hard pieces of the puzzle to fit in any Missouri dram shop lawsuit. First is proximate cause...meaning, as a matter of law, is there a direct causal relationship between the vendor's sale of alcohol and the plaintiff's injuries. Courts are generally reluctant to shift liability from the drunk driver to the bar. After all, was it the bar's actions (or inactions) that directly caused the injuries to the plaintiff? As
skilled dram shop lawyers, we have to make leap and prove the relationship to the jury.
Evidence of the level of intoxication of the drunk driver at the time he/she was actually consuming the alcohol is critical in a winning dram shop case. Our dram shop lawyers use toxicologists and pharmacologists to analyze bar tabs, BAC (blood alcohol content) levels, and other evidence to extrapolate someone's level of intoxication at a particular point in time. This evidence is important to prove whether or not the person serving the alcohol SHOULD have known that the patron was too intoxicated to continue with additional consumption. A toxicologist is used to explain to the jury that a particular person who have been exhibiting "signs of visible intoxication" at a particular time, and that the bar or waitress shoud have picked up on those signs of intoxication and cut off the patron.
Jurors are skeptical of dram shop lawsuits. Your lawyer has to be fully prepared to deal with the potential piftalls and challenges inherent in each liquor liability case. Roughly 11,000 people die in drunk driving car accidents each year in the United States (according to the Wall Street Journal). As lawyers and protectors of the community, we must do our best to hold all persons accountable for causing, or contributing to causing, the crash. That includes investigating the possiblity of a potential dram shop allegation in each DUI car accident injury or fatality.
To learn more about these types of claims and Missouri dram shop liquor liability cases, contact
St. Louis dram shop attorney Stephen Schultz. Mr. Schultz has successfully handled numerous high profile dram shop lawsuits across the state of Missouri. For his efforts at protecting the community in this regards, he has been featured in local and national news and legal periodicals. Contact Mr. Schultz and his talented group of lawyers by calling toll-free (866) 840-3636.