Injured in a drunk driving accident in Ohio? Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help. Ohio’s dram shop law may allow you to sue the licensed establishment that served the alcohol to the drunk driver.
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Were you or a loved one injured in an Ohio drunk driving accident? Ohio’s dram shop may be able to help. After suffering severe injuries in a car crash, it’s only reasonable to begin wondering about filing a personal injury lawsuit, but most of us only consider suing the responsible driver. But in Ohio, you might have another option.
Ohio Dram Shop Laws
The State’s powerful dram shop law allows injury victims who were harmed in alcohol-related accidents to file suit against the bar, restaurant or nightclub who served the alcohol in the first place.
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, bar fight or other alcohol-related accident, you may be able to recover financial compensation from the licensed establishment, if the establishment violated Ohio’s liquor code in serving the alcohol.
Eligible Violations Of The Liquor Code
Dram shop lawsuits must be based on a violation of Ohio’s dram shop act. In this regard, the dram shop law mentions two specific violations that can form the foundation of a viable claim:
- your injuries occurred on the licensed establishment’s property and were caused by the establishment’s negligence (either explicitly or through the negligent service of alcohol)
- your injuries occurred off the licensed establishment’s property and the vendor “knowingly sold” alcohol to a minor (under the age of 21) or someone who was already “noticeably intoxicated”
As a result, the dram shop act in Ohio makes room both for direct first-party negligence claims against licensed establishments and third-party negligence claims, in which the plaintiff argues that, but for the illegal service of alcohol to a minor or “noticeably intoxicated” person, their injuries would not have occurred.
Limited Social Host Liability & Minors
A limited form of dram shop liability is reserved for social hosts, people who “furnish” (sell, serve or make available) alcohol at private parties. In Ohio, social hosts can only be held liable for injuries arising as a result of serving a minor alcohol. Social hosts can not be held accountable for the negligent actions of drunken adult guests.
Dram Shop Statute Of Limitations
Like all other types of injury claim, dram shop lawsuits are governed by a strict statute of limitations. This state law serves as a legal time limit, restricting the amount of time injury victims and their loved ones have to file a lawsuit.
If you try to file your case after the statute of limitations has run its course, your case will almost undoubtedly be dismissed, so the statute must be respected. The statute of limitations for dram shop claims in Ohio is now set at 2 years, beginning on the date of injury.