If you’ve been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed by a drunk driver, you could be looking at extensive financial losses in addition to the physical and emotional damage they caused. Holding the drunk driver and their insurance (if they even have insurance) liable may not nearly cover it.
Ohio is one of the states that recognizes that others besides the person behind the wheel often bear some responsibility. Let’s look at two ways you may be able to seek compensation in civil court after a drunk driving crash.
Dram shop liability
Ohio is one of the states with a “dram shop” law. These laws give bars and restaurants some responsibility for overserving customers who then go out and injure or kill others because they’re drunk.
Specifically, Ohio law states that these establishments and their employees may be held liable for injuries and damage caused away their premises if they knowingly sold or served alcohol to someone underage or to someone already intoxicated as well as if they violated other provisions in the law, such as selling alcohol outside of designated hours.
Social host liability
Those who serve alcohol at private gatherings aren’t off the hook, either – at least when it comes to minors. It’s a crime in Ohio in most cases to provide alcohol in a social setting to those under 21. Those who do so can also be held civilly liable for any harm they cause as a result of being served alcohol.
These laws recognize how important it is for businesses and individuals to be responsible for serving alcohol. Unfortunately, too often, they aren’t. While there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to hold third parties liable for a drunk driver, it’s worthwhile to determine whether that can be an option. That’s why it’s wise to have experienced guidance to help you seek justice and compensation.