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Punitive Damages Can Be Awarded to a Drunk Driving Accident Victim in Columbus

— May 18, 2022

Penalties through the civil courts come in the form of punitive damages.

Columbus, OH – Drunk drivers are responsible for many injuries and fatalities in Columbus and other cities due to the dangerous nature of their actions. The law has both criminal penalties and civil penalties available when this happens, and accident victims should not hesitate to try to receive punitive damages if they have been harmed by an intoxicated motorist.

Attorneys near me should always be consulted for specific advice before making any important legal decisions. 

Ohio laws regarding drunk driving

The state’s laws related to driving after using alcohol or drugs are sometimes called operating under the influence or OVI. This essentially means the same thing as DUI or DWI as used in other states. The license suspension period can range from six months up to a few years depending on various factors related to the case. There are also fines that can cost over one thousand dollars and jail time that can range from just a few days to several years depending on the driver’s prior record and whether they injured anyone in an accident. 

Civil lawsuits and drunk driving collisions

Columbus accident lawyers have the ability to represent any accident victim in a civil case for monetary damages, and this is possible even if the person was not convicted of any charge related to drunk driving. Columbus DUI accident lawyers will also have experience negotiating a settlement on the injured person’s behalf. Compensation that is paid out through settlements or after a verdict will usually include the victim’s medical costs, current and future lost wages, as well as non-economic damages for pain and suffering.

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Punitive damages in injury cases

Penalties through the civil courts come in the form of punitive damages. Ohio allows punitive damages to be awarded in order to punish a defendant for reckless behavior in situations where the plaintiff can show that the defendant acted maliciously or with disregard for the safety of others. It is possible that a drunk driving accident can be the basis for awarding punitive damages in certain cases. However, there is a damage cap that limits punitive damages in any civil case to double the amount that was awarded for compensatory damages. 

Various types of evidence in the case can be used to show malice or a disregard for public safety, and it is possible that the attorney for the plaintiff can argue that drunk driving alone is sufficient to meet the burden of showing that the person disregarded the safety of others

Accident lawyers are available in Columbus and other cities is a website that lists lawyers all over the country divided by practice area and location. People who need help getting in touch with the right attorney can call 800-672-3103 for help. 

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