What is a tort and how does it apply to OWI?

When it comes to OWI, most people think of the criminal aspect of the infraction. But few people consider the civil aspect of the situation. Here is a run down of what you need to know about the civil penalty side of an OWI.

A tort is an injury to a person or property that someone else is legally liable for. So, what does this mean for someone who has committed a OWI? It means that, during the commission of the criminal act of operating while intoxicated or impaired, someone or something has been injured. The offending party is legally liable for the damage incurred since he or she was negligent in their judgement and actions and are then able to be sued to collect the money necessary to make the injured party whole.

To break this down even further, here is another explanation. When someone chooses to drink and drive, they are considered negligent or derelict in their duty to keep others safe from their own dangerous behavior. Because they have chosen to operate a car while they are impaired and unable to control it in the same manner as they would when they are sober, they assume the responsibility of the damage that they incur. In all honesty, drivers are always legally liable for the damage that they incur while operating a vehicle. This is why having liability insurance is necessary for all drivers to carry. It provides coverage for damage that occurs in an accident. However, the issue with a drunk driver is that in most cases their regular liability policy will not cover the damage or injury caused to person or property, meaning that the only way the injured party can collect the money they deserve is to sue the individual that caused the damage. This comes in the form of a tort.

In order for a tort to exist, a physical injury or damage has to exist. However, this is not the only injury that can be sued for. Intangible injuries can also be compensated under a tort including emotional and mental stress/injury as well as defamation of character and other intangible harm. This can result in a large financial problem for someone who is already facing financial stress due to the large cost of defending an OWI, especially if someone was injured or property was damaged since this already moves the OWI into a much more severe category.

It is important to note that there is a statute of limitations on torts, meaning that there is a set amount of time that someone has to bring a suit after the injury/damage occurs. In most cases, the statute of limitations in only a year or two, but this will vary from state to state and due to the level of the crime.

If you have recent Arrest Records for OWI, it is important to understand that there is a potential for you to be sued if you have injured someone or damaged property due to your own poor judgement. You can get the Latest News here.
Arrest Records for OWI can result in the filing of a tort. Get the Latest News regarding torts in Florida and more here.
Marchelle Lamaster

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