Liquor Liability Claims Attorneys

When Bars Place Profits Above Safety

Alcohol-related auto accidents are not accidents at all. The people injured or killed by intoxicated drivers are victims of a crime. While many other types of traffic accidents could be avoided, drunk driving accidents are always preventable.

Studies consistently show that drinking and driving continues to be a leading cause of car accidents. When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel it is most often innocent people who wind up seriously injured or killed. In some alcohol related accidents, the drunk driver isn’t the only one at fault. Our attorneys are skilled and experienced in pursuing alcohol sales and service liability law. These types of cases are called “dram shop” cases in the legal community.

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Missouri’s Dram Shop Statute §537.053 states: “The sale of alcoholic beverage may be the proximate cause of personal injuries or death.” The sale of the alcohol must be by the drink and by a restaurant and/or bar or similar business. Importantly, this law only extends to bars or restaurants that serve alcohol by the drink. It does not include social hosts or stores that sell packaged liquor. This is called the dram shop law. The purpose of the dram shop law is to prevent alcohol-related traffic accidents and promote public safety by protecting innocent victims from drunk driving accidents.

In Missouri, there are two events that can occur that will cause a bar and/or restaurant to be held responsible for the injury or death of a person in a drunk driving accident. First, if the seller served alcohol to a person under the age of twenty-one who subsequently caused an accident and injured their self or someone else. Second, if the seller knowingly served liquor to a “visibly intoxicated person” who subsequently caused an accident and injured someone else.

Proving liability in the sale and service of alcohol related cases can be a difficult proposition because the legal standard that must be met is that the bar knowingly served alcoholic beverages to a “visibly intoxicated person.” Therefore, in order to prevail it is very important that a proper investigation be done early and gather critical information quickly before the evidence is lost, and while witnesses can still be located.

We work with private investigators and other professionals in drunk driver cases to:

  • Interview bartenders and servers, patrons at the bar or restaurant who may have witnessed the drunk driver purchasing alcoholic drink;
  • Obtain all police and accident reports, including reports of the drunk driver’s blood alcohol content;
  • Subpoena records of debit or credit cards of the drunk driver;
  • Subpoena cash register receipts or other documents related to the sale of wine, beer or liquor by the drink from the bar who served the drunk driver;
  • Investigate whether the bar or restaurant trained its bartenders, wait staff and other employees to cut off service to intoxicated customers before they become a hazard

If you were injured as a result of the over-service of alcohol to a restaurant patron (dram shop) or if your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, you should talk to an experienced Kansas City Injury lawyer as soon as possible to investigate the possibility of a dram shop case and liquor liability claim.

The personal injury attorneys at McCollum & Griggs, have successfully represented clients in claims for personal injury and Wrongful Death caused by drunk or careless drivers in the Kansas City area. We work hard to hold negligent bars and restaurants responsible in dram shop claims for illegally selling liquor to underage or highly intoxicated patrons. Choose a Kansas City accident attorney who knows this area of the law. Call our office at 816-474-0202 for a consultation with one of our attorneys.

Holding Drunk Drivers Responsible

The consequences of careless or drunk driving are monumental. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol there were over 3,823 people injured in 2010 and 218 people killed as a direct result of alcohol related traffic accidents. View statistical analysis from the highway patrol to learn more or view the chart below.

If you were hurt or paralyzed in an alcohol-related car accident or a family member was killed by a drunk driver, it is important that you hire an experienced auto or truck accidents attorney who can properly handle your case for you. Hiring the right lawyer can be the key to holding the drunk driver responsible and recovering the compensation that you need and deserve.

Waiting too long to talk to an auto or truck accidents attorney can hurt your chances of success. Contact us today to find out why you should act quickly to protect your rights. We have the knowledge and ability to do a thorough and proper investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Why Early Investigation Is Important in Dram Shop and Drunk Driving Accidents:
In a claim for injuries caused by a drunk driving auto accident, it is very important that the personal injury attorney closely monitor the criminal DUI or DWI case against the drunk driver. In addition, time is of the essence when taking statements while the memory of witnesses is still fresh. The first few days are very important and often times can make or break a case. In order to pinpoint liability and identify all negligent or responsible parties, quick and thorough investigation is crucial.

At McCollum & Griggs, we would like to see you as soon as possible after an auto accident. We act quickly to protect your rights and document your damages by:

  • Photographing your injuries and the damaged vehicles
  • Securing the black boxes from the motor vehicles
  • Investigate the scene of the auto accident
  • Obtaining witness statements and physical evidence
  • Having accident reconstruction experts analyze the cause of the auto or truck accidents
  • Creating professional day-in-the-life videos and other exhibits to show the effects of your injury on your daily life
  • Exploring compensation from the Missouri Victim Injury Fund

At McCollum & Griggs, we are aggressive advocates for individuals and families whose lives have been forever changed by quadriplegia, back injuries, and other serious injuries caused by a drunk driver. We also seek justice for families who have lost a loved one in a drunk driving auto or truck accidents.

The Knowledge and Skills Needed to Handle Your Drunk Driving Accident Claim

Claims for injuries or Wrongful Death caused by an intoxicated driver can be much more complicated than other car or truck accidents claims. An attorney needs to really know what he or she is doing in order to successfully handle a civil lawsuit against a drunk driver.

At McCollum & Griggs, we have considerable experience and success representing clients in dram shop and alcohol-related auto or truck accidents, including head-on collisions caused by drunk drivers. We work to identify all responsible parties and recover all compensation and insurance benefits available for you or your family.

If we discover, as often is the case, that a bar or restaurant over-served the drunk driver we will file a suit against the bar or restaurant that illegally served that patron. If necessary we will pursue claims for uninsured and underinsured motorists’ coverage. We also review your car insurance policy and help you process any insurance claims.