Ohio Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer | Kisling, Nestico & Redick
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Ohio Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

If a drunk driver in Ohio injured you or a loved one, you aren’t alone. Thousands like you have been hurt, but the law lets you seek compensation for the harm caused by an impaired driver. By working with an Ohio car accident lawyer, you can be sure that the drunk driver doesn’t walk away without consequences, and you can recover financially.

At KNR, we can help, so a drunk driving accident doesn’t define your life. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free consultation. KNR will explain your rights and how to get max compensation.

What is Drunk Driving?

Many people believe they have a high tolerance for alcohol. They often think they can have a few drinks and still get behind the wheel. However, people’s belief in their ability to drive a car and their blood alcohol limit isn’t related.

The BAC limit in Ohio is .08 percent, which only takes one or two drinks to reach. But, even if a person is below the legal limit, alcohol still impairs the ability to drive.

Alcohol affects people’s perception and reflexes, which means an impaired driver may not accurately see the road and its maneuvers. They may also be unable to stop in time once they notice brake lights or a pedestrian on the road.

Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 11,650 deaths in 2020 related to drunk and impaired driving across the United States. Drunk drivers in Ohio injure countless others across the U.S. From causing minor scrapes and bruises to debilitating injuries; drunk drivers are a serious threat on our roads.

Signs of Drunk Driving

On the roads, drunk driving can be signaled by:

  • Sudden stops
  • Erratic braking
  • Following too closely
  • Fast acceleration
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Coming into close contact with a stationary object such as a curb or another vehicle
  • Swerving
  • Hugging the center line of traffic

Drunk drivers themselves may show signs of impairment through:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • The smell of alcohol on their breath or in their vehicle
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Issues with fine motor skills
  • Trouble with coordination or balance
  • Jerky movements

Contacting the Police after a Drunk Driving Accident

After a collision with a drunk driver, contact 911. Law enforcement will be able to document the scene of the accident, gather evidence to support your case, file a police and crash report with valuable data regarding the accident, and handle any criminal charges the drunk driver may face.

Potential Criminal Charges

If the police find that the driver who hit you is intoxicated due to alcohol or another substance, the local prosecutor may bring criminal charges. Depending on the accident and if you and anyone are seriously hurt or killed, the charges may be for more than a simple DUI.

These charges can lead to permanent criminal records, fines, and prison time. While criminal charges bring justice to those who are hurt, there is no monetary benefit for the victims. If you are injured and need money to pay your medical bills, mortgage, and other living costs, you must settle with the driver’s insurance company or file a civil suit.

Drunk Driving Injuries

Some of the different types of injury see it, and drunk driving accidents in Ohio include:

Fatal Drunk Driving Accidents

If you are the surviving family member of someone who passed away due to fatal injuries sustained and a drunk driving accident, you may have to file a wrongful death claim. Filing a wrongful death action may be the best option for your family to bring the liable party to justice.

Ohio Drunk Driving Liability

Establishing liability is essential and drunk driving accident claims. Although you might assume that the drunk driver is solely responsible for your damages, you may be surprised to learn that multiple parties could share fault.

Drink Driving: Proving Negligence

For your drunk driving accident claim to be successful, your attorney must prove the defendant’s negligence. In drunk driving accident claims, drivers have violated their duty of care when operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A breach in the duty of care, when responsible for causing an injury victim’s injuries and subsequent damages, is considered negligence.

Dram Shop Liability

Ohio dram shop liability laws allow establishments that over-serve or sell alcohol to someone already intoxicated to be held accountable when an intoxicated individual causes a collision. Dram shops can be held accountable when:

  • They knowingly sell alcohol to a minor
  • They knowingly sell alcohol to someone who is already visibly impaired
  • A defendant’s impairment caused the victim’s damages

Drunk Driving Accident Insurance Claims

In most situations, you will first file a third-party claim against the drunk driver’s auto insurance company. If your claim is approved, you can negotiate a settlement with the insurer to cover your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and more if necessary. It’s best to have an attorney help you.

You may think the process for filing an insurance claim against a drunk driver’s insurance company to be more straightforward if you believe they were intoxicated at the time of the accident. However, insurance companies will look for any opportunity to reduce what they pay in claims – even when the case involves a drunk driver. They may suggest you share the blame or even that you contributed to or exaggerated your injuries.

Common Drunk Driving Accident Defenses

Some of the common defense the drunk driver or other liable parties make used to challenge the accusations against them include:

  • Your injuries were not caused by the drunk driving accident but in another way
  • You are partially at fault for causing your injuries
  • The driver was not under the influence at the time of the accident
  • The defendant’s chemical blood alcohol test results were mishandled

Drunk Driving Accident Settlements

It can also be tricky to provide the necessary information to the insurer without providing information they don’t need and aren’t entitled to. Additionally, you don’t have to take the first settlement offer, and you should never settle for less than you deserve. An experienced attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to maximize your settlement.

Many insurance companies want to avoid trials related to drunk drivers. Your attorney can use this as leverage for a better settlement offer.

Drunk Driving: Damages & Compensation

When you are injured in a car crash because the other driver was negligent by driving under the influence, they may be found liable for your various damages. Your lawyer can represent you in pursuit of compensation for all your physical, emotional, and financial losses. Through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, KNR will fight hard for you to recover your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium

If you cannot reach a satisfactory settlement, you’ll need to file a civil case against the drunk driver. Through a lawsuit, you’ll be able to seek compensatory damages and, in some circumstances, punitive damages.

Compensatory damages are meant to make you whole. They will cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, your past and future medical expenses, lost income due to being out of work, and pain and suffering.

Punitive damages may also be appropriate since they are meant to punish the individual for their behavior.

How a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help

Your drunk driving accident attorney at Kisling, Nestico & Redick can handle all of the legal details of your case while you focus on recuperating.

KNR’s Lawyer Help By

  • Gathering compelling evidence to prove drunk driving and liability in your case
  • Preparing claims to be filed with the appropriate insurance companies
  • Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf
  • Going over your drunk driving accident damages to calculate the value of your claim
  • Obtaining the defendant’s blood alcohol test results to be used as evidence at trial
  • Working with accident reconstructionists to prove liability

We use every available resource so you can recover physically and financially after a car accident.

Drunk Driving Accident FAQs

Do I have to wait until the driver is convicted?

No, you do not have to wait until the drunk drivers criminal charges are dealt with to pursue your case. Your attorney can get started on your drunk driving civil claim immediately after the accident.

What if the driver was high on marijuana or other drugs?

Driving under the influence of marijuana is a criminal offense in Ohio. Anyone with a marijuana metabolite concentration of 35 ng/mL of urine or more, or 50 Nanograms per milliliter of blood or more, could be prosecuted criminally and held accountable civilly.

Can a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver sue?

Yes, passengers may be able to sue drunk drivers for causing their damages. However, the defense may attempt to argue that the passenger is partially at fault. Getting an experienced drunk driving accident attorney on your case is essential to ensure liability is established accurately.

Injured by a Drunk Driver in Ohio? Call KNR.

If a drunk driver hurt you or a loved one, you deserve justice. You can’t control whether criminal charges are brought against the driver, but you can ensure you receive what you and your family need to move forward. At KNR, we will advise you, review all your legal options, and fight to secure the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Get your free, no-risk consultation. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW today.