It is common knowledge that drunk driving is a dangerous and irresponsible act—not to mention illegal. However, intoxication can worsen decision-making abilities, and yet some people still choose to get behind the wheel despite their impaired state.
Most people understand that drunk driving can lead to criminal DUI charges, but many may be unaware of how alcohol or other forms of intoxication factor into personal injury claims and civil litigation. If you were injured due to a drunk driving car accident in Columbus, reach out to the trustworthy attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy for more information on how a civil suit may work in your particular case.
How Does Drunk Driving Affect a Car Accident Injury Case?
Unlike other car accident injury claims, there is more than just liability and negligence to consider if the other party was driving while intoxicated. Their impairment, if severe enough, may also warrant punitive or additional special damages in civil litigation.
There are also additional factors to address when a traffic collision claim involves drunk driving. Where the defendant received the alcohol could be relevant information if they were drinking at an establishment that should have cut them off. The details of the wreck also come under greater scrutiny if the driver was intoxicated, because they may have caused greater injuries to the victim than if they had been sober. A dedicated attorney at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can advise any Columbus resident impacted by a drunk driving collision on their right to civil litigation.
Damages in Columbus Intoxicated Driving Cases
A plaintiff in a civil suit involving drunk driving can pursue recovery for both economic and non-economic damages, as in any other personal injury claim. These may include any of the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses for property damage
- Deductibles on their health insurance
- Compensation for intangible losses such as pain and suffering
However, in car accident cases involving intoxication, plaintiffs may also consider punitive damages, which go beyond compensable losses. Our Columbus lawyers have handled many types of drunk driving car accident cases. One of our attorneys in your area can sit down with you to discuss what economic, non-economic, or punitive damages you may be eligible to recover for your specific circumstances.
Criminal Vs. Civil Action Against Drunk Driving
Columbus authorities may pursue their own criminal charges against any drunk driver following a car crash. The injured party does not have to press charges for this to happen. Conversely, there does not need to be criminal action against the drunk driver for an injured victim to pursue their damages civilly. A DUI case and a personal injury case will be handled separately by the criminal and civil justice systems, respectively.
It is important to note that comparative fault can still factor into civil cases involving drunk driving in Ohio. If the injured party is found partially responsible for the accident, the amount of damages that they may pursue could be decreased proportional to their degree of fault. However, as long as the drunk driver is found to be more than 50 percent liable for the car crash, our skilled Columbus lawyers can help an injured victim pursue an action against them.
Reach Out to an Attorney for Columbus Car Accident Claims Involving Drunk Driving
Every car accident case is different, but those involving illegal intoxication can be particularly complex given the potential for criminal charges. However, civil litigation can be a fruitful option for many people injured by drunk driving.
Our attorneys can work efficiently to handle the legal details and minimize stress so that you can focus on healing from your injuries. If you are considering civil action following a car crash with a drunk driver in Columbus, call today to speak with one of the dedicated legal advocates at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy.