Drunk driving has become a huge public safety problem in Ohio. In 2018, the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) made more than 25,000 arrests for OVI (operating a vehicle impaired) offenses, and 2.2 percent of adult drivers in the state have admitted to driving a vehicle after consuming too much alcohol. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, the consequences can be life-changing.
Why Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Ohio?
Drunk driving accidents happen for all kinds of reasons. In almost all crashes involving a drunk driver, alcohol consumption has impacted the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.
“As alcohol levels rise in a person’s system, the negative effects on the central nervous system increase,” says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Because of this risk, it’s illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. However, even a small amount of alcohol can affect driving ability.”
Some of the most common types of accidents involving a drunk driver include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- A drunk driver hits a pedestrian
- A drunk driver takes a wrong exit
Can You Sue a Drunk Driver in Ohio?
Yes. If you’ve been injured in a car crash involving a drunk driver, you might wonder if you can sue for damages. Federal and Ohio state law makes this possible. You can claim compensation in various circumstances, regardless of the severity of your injuries.
Some of the most common injuries during a vehicle crash with a drunk driver include:
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
However, there are less-obvious injuries. Many people involved in vehicle crashes in Ohio suffer mental health issues, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other conditions.
Depending on the circumstances of your crash with a drunk driver, you might suffer financial difficulties because of the following:
- Unexpected medical bills
- Prescription drug charges
- Rehabilitation costs
- Loss of income because you are unable to work (or have to work fewer hours than before)
This is why you can sue a drunk driver for damages. It’s likely that you will receive compensation for the costs associated with your crash because the driver has been negligent or irresponsible.
In some cases, drunk drivers face criminal charges (such as OVI or DUI) for their behavior. If this happens, you can still sue a drunk driver for damages in an Ohio court (or settle out of court).
What Should You Do After a Drunk Driving Accident in Ohio?
Before you even think about legal action, you should get the medical help you need. Worried about the costs of medical treatment? Hire a professional personal injury attorney in Ohio to sue the drunk driver for damages.
Once you have recovered (or are in recovery), search for a drunk driving lawyer who can recover the costs of medical bills, physical, therapy, lost wages, and rehabilitation.
You should also choose an Ohio DUI accident lawyer who has years of experience in drunk driving cases like yours. An experienced lawyer provides you with the best course of action to take in your circumstances. For example, not many people involved in an OVI or DUI accident know that it’s possible to sue for punitive damages. A court awards these damages to punish the drunk driver for his or her behavior.
A drunk driving accident in Ohio can leave more than physical scars. It could have a significant impact on your finances and affect your ability to work. This is why you should contact an Ohio personal injury lawyer who helps drunk driving victims receive the compensation they deserve.
Friedman, Domiano & Smith has helped people like you file lawsuits against Ohio drunk drivers. This drunk driving accident attorney firm operates on a no recovery, no fee basis, so you don’t have to pay anything upfront. Click here for a free consultation or call 1-800-280-0070.