Drunk driving is a relatively common criminal offense. Some people don’t realize how drunk they are when they get behind the wheel, while other people know that they have had too much to drink but overestimate their own driving skill.
After a crash caused by a drunk driver, you may have massive expenses and financial losses to manage. Your vehicle could require thousands of dollars in repairs or may need to be replaced. You may have injuries that require medical care and keep you from working. Who is responsible for the impact of a drunk driving crash on your life?
The driver typically has legal responsibility
With the exception of situations where a person was not aware of their impairment and did not consent to the consumption of alcohol, drunk drivers are responsible for their own actions. Victims of drunk drivers often need to pursue a personal injury claim against the person who hurt them.
The driver may not have enough insurance to cover the total cost of the losses they caused or may be uninsured because of previous impaired-driving arrests. A civil lawsuit may be the only option for those who need compensation after a drunk driving crash.
There might be a business implicated as well
If a drunk driver without insurance or any major financial resources causes a crash, a lawsuit may not do you any good. If they don’t have income or assets, judgment won’t actually compensate you. In some scenarios, victims of drunk drivers may have rights under Ohio’s dram shop laws.
These laws create culpability for licensed businesses that distribute alcohol to those who are under the age of 21 or to someone who is visibly impaired already. A business that serves alcohol to someone it shouldn’t could be responsible if that person leaves and hurts someone else. Looking carefully at the circumstances leading to your crash can give you a better idea of what legal action you can take if you were injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver in Ohio.