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When is an Ohio business liable for a drunk driving crash?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Information about drunk driving is part of standard driver’s education courses. There are also public awareness campaigns that put up billboards and run advertisements to remind people of the risk associated with intoxication at the wheel. Despite all of the information about the risks involved, some people drive when they are under the influence. They may misunderstand their own level of intoxication or believe they have a high tolerance that allows them to drive safely when others can’t.

Someone who chooses to drive anyway is obviously responsible for the consequences of that decision. However, a drunk driver may not necessarily have the personal resources necessary to fully compensate others if they cause a crash. They may have inadequate insurance or very few personal assets. When is it possible to hold a business responsible for an Ohio drunk driving collision?

When there were dram shop law violations

There are liquor laws in Ohio that limit the service of alcohol in the interest of public safety. When the workers at a bar or restaurant do not comply with those laws, the business may have liability if something tragic happens later.

The Ohio dram shop law makes a business liable for drunk driving crashes in scenarios where workers at the business served someone under the age of 21 alcohol. Additionally, businesses can be liable if they provide alcohol to someone who is already visibly intoxicated. Those affected by a drunk driving crash can sometimes initiate a dram shop lawsuit against the business that the drunk driver patronized immediately before the crash.

When a worker is drunk on the job

Sometimes, businesses have vicarious liability for the actions of an individual. They may have legal and financial responsibility for harm caused by an employee’s negligence or misconduct. When someone’s job responsibilities require that they operate a motor vehicle, the business might have liability for crashes caused by that employee while on the clock. Someone who does sales or repair calls that people’s homes drinks on their lunch and then causes a wreck, the company that employs them may have some liability for the crash that occurred.

Identifying options for compensation, and seeking legal guidance accordingly, can potentially help people to reduce the lasting financial impacts of a drunk driving crash.