Some people come into our Kansas City office here at Mayer & Rosenberg, P.C. PC as victims of a drunk driving accident on the Kansas side. If the drunk driver had left a bar recently or a place where alcohol was served, these victims often want to know whether Kansas has a dram shop law.
Sadly, the answer is no. Most states in the U.S., including Missouri, have some form of a dram shop law, which basically allows victims of drunk driving accidents to seek financial compensation from those who provided the driver with the alcohol. The idea is to hold these establishments somewhat responsible since they are the source of the driver’s inebriation. Kansas, however, is one of eight states that has not taken this step.
According to the Kansas State Legislature, the state has a comparative negligence law, which states that people can pursue civil action against any party whose negligence led to injury, property damage, death or economic loss. Under this law, victims can file a personal injury lawsuit against the person driving the vehicle and if they succeed, they are awarded compensation according to the level of fault that the other driver was responsible for. In cases such as drunk driving, these awards cover medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering, and may even include punitive damages.
Drunk driving is a serious problem that leaves thousands of people injured and dozens of families mourning the loss of a loved one. While states have tried to address the problem by passing tougher penalties for those convicted of driving under the influence, many people still think they can handle driving their vehicle after consuming a few beers. To learn more about this subject, please contact Mayer & Rosenberg, P.C.