Ohio has made tremendous progress towards increasing public awareness about drunk driving and reducing the amount of those types of accidents on our roads. Unfortunately, there are still far too many reckless individuals who choose to drink and then get behind the wheel. The accidents they cause creates untold misery among their victims and often leave them with thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses.
Thankfully, Ohio has enacted laws that contain provisions that allow injured parties to recover money for their economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages under Ohio law are expenses such as lost wages, salaries or other compensation that a victim might have earned had they not been involved in the accident. They also include medical costs, dental costs and basically any other expenditures resulting from the accident with the exception of attorney's fees.
Non-economic losses are sometimes more difficult to obtain because they are intangible. Some examples of non-economic losses are things like the pain and suffering a victim might experience as the result of his or her accident. Other examples might include a loss of society, companionship and comfort that they missed from their spouses or children while recovering in the hospital.
Ohio puts no limit on compensation for economic damages. In other words, you should be able to claim just about anything you can verify with paycheck stubs, medical bills and other supporting documentation. However, Ohio' caps non-economic damages at $250,000 or three times the amount of the determined economic loss.
If you are an Ohio resident who was hit by a drunk driver, you should know that filing a civil lawsuit and proving that you are entitled to recover compensation is not as easy as it may seem. In fact, sometimes expert witnesses may need to be called to support your claims. You should consider consulting with your attorney first before attempting to take on such an endeavor by yourself.
Source: Ohio State Statutes, "2315.18 Compensatory damages in tort actions - factors excluded - findings or interrogatories." Oct. 03, 2014