The penalties after charges of driving under the influence (DUI), when damage and personal injury are severe, are most often hashed out in a court of law addressing criminal charges at the state level followed by civil proceedings. If criminal charges are upheld, the accident victim has a stronger case for civil settlement of damages against a drunk driver. Civil court awards, and criminal court penalties are heavily impacted by the expertise of legal counsel who are familiar with DUI and personal injury laws in Ohio.
Litigation for personal injury cases caused by DUI yield comprehensive settlements based on several factors including: the actions of the drunk driver immediately after the occurrence; the damages imposed on others; the severity of injuries caused, driver’s recorded level of alcohol; first or repeat offense; age of DUI driver and proof of negligence standards.
Statute of limitations.
Ohio does have a two-year statute of limitations, so if a personal injury case is going to move forward it has to be done within that period. If there is failure to file within the required timeframe, compensation for damages may be lost.
Drunk driving is a negligent act, and fault usually follows it, but this would need to be proven in the courts to make sure the victim receives the total compensation they deserve from the at-fault drunk driver. Ohio follows a “modified comparative negligence rule” which basically states that the amount of compensation a person is entitled to receive will be reduced by an amount that is equal to their percentage of fault for the accident. If a victim shares more than 50 percent of the legal blame, they will not be able to collect anything above their normal insurance claim amounts.
Ohio capitation limits on awards.
If a drunk driver has been found responsible after court proceedings in Fairfield Ohio, damages can be awarded to cover economic and non-economic losses. The non-economic damages that include pain and suffering are capped at $250,000, or three times the amount of economic damages awarded, whichever is greater with an overall cap of $350,000. Punitive damages awarded cannot be more than twice the amount of economic damages awarded.
Mandatory car insurance.
In Ohio, it is illegal to drive any motor vehicle without insurance, and it is illegal for a vehicle owner to allow anyone else to drive his or her motor vehicle without insurance. Minimum insurance requirements are $25,000 for injury/death of one person, $50,000 for injury/death of two or more people, and $25,000 for property damage in an accident. Insurance will cover costs associated with the accident and be paid sooner than monetary awards through litigation.
Seek legal counsel.
An experienced legal professional at the Law Offices of Kruger & Hodges will review your case and utilize their personal injury and DUI expertise toward a substantial award to cover necessary damages associated with medical bills, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering.