Downing a six pack may seem like child’s play but getting involved in a drunk driving accident after that can spell doom for anyone. As many as 3 in every 10 Americans are involved in alcohol-related crashes during their lifetime while a large number of drunk driving accidents have resulted in the death of thousands of drivers and innocent bystanders.
Ohio has its fair share of drunk drivers who often end up endangering not only their own life but that of many others. If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident and is a victim or the one who caused the accident, it is always prudent to have an experienced Ohio drunk driving accident lawyer by your side. A lawyer can help in several ways from both perspectives. You can fine one of the best in the business right here: http://accident.usattorneys.com/ohio/.
When you are the victim of a drunk driving accident
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another drunk driver, you have the right to claim compensation, also known as damages, for all your losses as a result of the accident. There are several types of damages that can be claimed.
Compensatory damages include expenses incurred on medical bills, loss of income, costs for future medical treatment, and more. You may be also entitled to compensation for any mental and physical pain and suffering, which is known as ‘general damages’. In a drunk driving accident you may also be eligible for punitive damages. This type of damage is to discourage the defendant from engaging in similar conduct.
With the help of an experienced Ohio drunk driving accident attorney, there is a possibility that your case could be settled with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, if negotiations fail then the next step is to file a lawsuit. Your lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf against the drunk driver and any other parties that may be responsible. For example, the restaurant or bar where the drunk driver was served alcohol before he/she got behind the wheel may be legally liable in part, based on several factors.
A time limit exists
In Ohio, the deadline to bring a claim or lawsuit is 2 years from the time of the accident so if you haven’t yet sought legal counsel it is important to do so as soon as possible. If someone died in the drunk driving accident, the victim’s family has 2 years from the date of the person’s death.
If you were drunk and caused an accident
If you have caused an accident while driving intoxicated, you are likely to be charged with DUI, which makes it important to retain an Ohio drunk driving accident lawyer. This punishment includes fines from $250 to $1,000 and more for a first offense, and incarceration from 3 days to 1 year or more depending on the severity of the case.
The penalties get more severe for subsequent DUI charges. In addition to criminal penalties you will also face administrative penalties that include suspension of your driver’s license, even if you did not cause an accident. The other party may also file a civil suit and seek monetary damages. To evaluate your case make sure to speak with a fantastic and caring lawyer right away.