Brad Pistotnik Law can help you if you have been hit by a drunk driver.

Brad Pistotnik Law knows injury or death caused by a drunk driver is perhaps the most upsetting, anger-provoking of all kinds of personal injury cases. The thought of an innocent victim suffering serious or fatal injury at the hands of an irresponsible individual can evoke outrage among members of the community. At Brad Pistotnik Law we aggressively pursue claims against irresponsible drinkers and the bars, nightclubs, and restaurants that improperly serve them. According to the CDC, in 2014, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Although the law can never replace a loved one, it does provide means of recovery for victims. Victims can sue the drunk driver under the general laws of negligence, but often the drunk driver is either uninsured or underinsured and has few, if any, assets to support a lawsuit. This is what makes drunk driving cases difficult.

Even if there is no way to pursue recovery against the drunk driver, there may be a way to pursue recovery against the person who provided the alcoholic beverage to the drunk driver. However, people who serve alcoholic beverages are not liable under Kansas law for damages resulting from the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Mills v. City of Overland Park, 251 K. 434, 837 P.2d 370 (1992).

Liability may be imposed either under specific state laws (“dram shop acts”) or under the general law of negligence. Dram shop acts (“dram” was once a common term for “liquor”) are laws that impose liability for negligence on the sellers of alcoholic beverages for sales to persons under the legal drinking age or to those who are obviously intoxicated. A liquor store, bar or restaurant is not responsible for any damages caused by a person’s drinking even if it sold alcohol to an underage person or to a person who was obviously intoxicated. Under Kansas law, the intoxication of the patron is considered the cause of the accident, not the vendor’s actions, though Kansas law prohibits the sale of alcohol to the obviously intoxicated or minors. (Kan. Stat. Ann § 41-715), (Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-3610)

Liability can attach to “social hosts” as well. A social host is an individual who serves alcoholic beverages in a social setting, such as a home or a party, or as where an employer serves alcoholic beverages at a company. The social host is not required to make sure that no one is consuming more alcohol than they can handle unless the host can reasonably be aware of a problem and prevent it. In Kansas, however the social host cannot be held liable. Thies v Cooper, 243 Kan. 149 (1988).

In all automobile accident cases it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and to enable physicians or other expert witnesses to thoroughly evaluate any injuries. If you or a loved one is a victim of an automobile accident, call Brad Pistotnik Law now at (800) 241-BRAD or 316-684-4400.  The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay! Call Brad Pistotnik Law firm now! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.

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