I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver in Ohio, Can I Sue?

Being hit by a drunk driver is one of everyone’s worst fears. It’s an event that causes profound stress, injury, and anguish. If you or a loved one are hit by a drunk driver in Ohio you may be able to sue for wrongful damages, pain and suffering, and bills not covered by your insurance. 

Being in a car accident is a traumatic event. You may feel disoriented, depressed, anxious, and confused. After an accident you need to focus on your own personal healing, contact one of our lawyers here at GSAS to fight for what you deserve. 

What is the Legal Limit in Ohio?

In the state of Ohio a driver of a non-commercial vehicle is legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is 0.08 or more. A driver of a commercial vehicle is legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is 0.04 or more. If a driver is at, or over this blood alcohol level they are over the legal limit and unsafe to drive. 

What Are My Options if I am Hit by a Drunk Driver?

When you are hit by a drunk driver you have legal options, both civil and criminal. But what are those options?

If the police determine the driver was over the legal limit then the local prosecutor can bring charges against them. What could these be?

  • A drunk driver could be charged with vehicular assault at minimum. 
  • A drunk driver could be charged with aggravated vehicular assault if serious harm was caused to a person or unborn fetus. 
  • A drunk driver could be charged with vehicular manslaughter if the accident resulted in the death of a person or unborn fetus. 

If you are a victim of a drunk driver you can seek monetary damages from your insurance company, or you can file a civil suit against the at fault driver. 

Here is where we can help you. 

How Do I Navigate a Civil Suit in a Drunk Driving Accident?

In order to recover economic damages from the at-fault driver you would have to file a third party claim against their insurance company. This is your opportunity to recover any monetary losses stemming from the accident. This can cover lost wages, medical bills, and any damages caused to your vehicle. An at-fault driver is responsible for all of you economic losses and if their insurance cannot cover it you can also file a civil case to recover what is yours. 

In Ohio you can also file a lawsuit for the pain and suffering caused by a drunk driver accident. 

Pain and suffering after an accident includes:

  • Lasting physical pain caused by the accident.
  • Mental anguish caused by the accident including:
    • PTSD
    • Loss of enjoyment of life 
    • Depression
    • Anxiety 

These conditions can be chronic and often invisible, making the suffering of them all the more frustrating and traumatic. 

Are There Caps on What I Can Recover?

There are caps on what you can seek in non-economic pain and suffering damages. According to Ohio law damages sought are limited to $250,000 or three times your economic damages. 

Filing a civil suit and navigating the complicated world of accident insurance claims can be stressful, especially when you are attempting to heal from the trauma of an accident. Contact one of our personal injury attorneys to fight for what you deserve. 

Can I File a Claim Against the Bar That Over Served the Driver?

Ohio’s Dram Shop Laws put a legal responsibility on any alcohol serving establishment in the case of a drunk driving accident. This means that you may be able to file a claim against whatever establishment overserved the at-fault driver. How exactly does this work?

Any establishment in Ohio that serves alcohol can be held legally responsible if an over-served patron causes damages. A bar may not serve any individual who is visibly intoxicated. If a bar serves a visibly intoxicated person who then goes on to cause damages and injury they can be held liable for those damages. 


In this case a civil suit can be filed against an establishment by the injured party. In this suit economic and non-economic damages may be recovered. This includes medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and any physical and mental pain and suffering. 


If I Was Hit as A Pedestrian or on a Bicycle What Are My Options?

When you are in an accident with a drunk driver while driving you can seek damages from your car insurance company and file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. But what if you are hit when you are a pedestrian or on a bicycle? There are a few different routes to take here. 


  • At-Fault Driver’s Auto Insurance 

If you are hit by a drunk driver while on your bicycle or as a pedestrian you can seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance. The drunk driver is responsible for all of your economic and non-economic damages. 


  • If The Driver Does Not Have Insurance 

If the driver of the car does not have insurance damages may be sought from your own homeowners and life insurance and you may also file a civil case against the at-fault driver. 


How We Can Help 

Here at Spivak and Sakellariou we specialize in helping victims get what they deserve. The claims process can be a stressful and confusing experience. After suffering the pain of an accident you don’t need something else on your plate. Let us handle the process for you so that you can focus on healing. 


It costs nothing upfront to work with us. We will only ever take a cut if we win your case for you. So there is absolutely no risk in reaching out and working with us to fight for what is yours. 


We are standing by to answer any of your questions. You can call us directly, send us a message, or chat with us 24/7 on our website. 


We are here to fight for what you deserve. 

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