In theory, someone hurt by a drunk driver in Missouri could file an insurance claim to cover all of their bills. Liability coverage as required by state law can pay to repair a vehicle or buy a new one. It can also cover medical expenses and lost wages after someone gets hurt in a wreck.
Someone who will knowingly violate the law about driving drunk may also ignore other important statutes, such as the obligation to carry insurance. You could end up severely injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver without insurance or with a policy that just barely complies with state law.
What options do you have when the person who hurt you after breaking the law doesn’t have the insurance you need to pay your bills?
Explore dram shop liability
If the drunk driver had recently left a licensed bar or restaurant, you could potentially be in a position to pursue a dram shop claim under Missouri state law. Although businesses that serve alcohol generally do not have liability for the actions of their patrons, there are two exceptions to their protection.
Illegal behavior by staff at a bar or restaurant might leave the business at risk of liability claims later. When a business permits its staff to serve a minor alcohol or to continue serving someone who is already visibly intoxicated, the company may end up potentially liable for any drunk driving collisions those patrons cause after leaving the business.
Such claims can help those who suffer severe injuries, as well as the surviving family members left behind when a drunk driver causes a fatal crash. Business insurance policies often offer more coverage than basic policies, and the company will also have assets that can help repay the person hurt.
It may also be possible to pursue a lawsuit against the person who caused the crash, which could result in a judgment in your favor. Those harmed by a drunk driver often need to consider all of their options and develop a strategy based on their current needs. Pursuing financial justice after a drunk driving crash often means looking at methods of securing compensation other than a basic insurance claim.