Ohio law recognizes that we all make mistakes, and sometimes mistakes on the road cause accidents. Under state law, you can be partly at fault for a car accident and still recover damages through an insurance claim or negligence lawsuit. However, how much fault is yours can reduce your recovery, and if you are more at fault than others there would be no recovery at all.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Sandusky, OH or the surrounding areas, that was only partially your fault, or all the fault is with others, reach out to Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA. You can count on our highly skilled Ohio personal injury lawyers to ensure your rights to fair compensation are protected.
Call (419) 625-7770 for a free, no-risk consultation, and you pay nothing unless you recover compensation.
Fault & Negligence in Laws in Ohio
Legal actions and insurance claims for harm done in vehicle accidents are normally based on the legal theory of negligence (unless the other party intentionally struck you or your vehicle). The plaintiff, the injured party filing the lawsuit, has the burden of showing that it’s more likely than not the other party (the defendant):
- Owed you a legal duty (to drive reasonably safely in a vehicle that was safe to drive)
- That duty or legal obligation was breached or violated (the person was speeding, ran a stop sign or was intoxicated)
- That the breach was the factual and legal (or proximate) cause of the accident
- The accident caused your damages (pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, costs of vehicle repair)
Comparative Negligence in Ohio
How someone’s degree of fault impacts a negligence claim varies from state to state. Ohio is a comparative negligence state. Under our laws, the plaintiff can be no more than 50 % at fault for the accident to recover.
As part of the process, your degree of fault would be determined (by the insurance company when you file a claim or by the jury if your case goes to trial). If it’s more than 50 %, your claim would be denied.
If it’s 50 % or less, your recovery would be reduced by your share of responsibility. For example, if it’s determined you were 25 % at fault, and your damages were $100,000, your recovery would be $75,000.
How is Fault Determined
Determining fault is very fact-specific and requires an in-depth investigation of the accident to discover all the relevant facts leading up to the crash. This is a major reason why you should contact Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, as soon as possible after the accident. This could allow us to start our investigation before evidence is lost, and eyewitnesses’ memories fade.
The degree of fault is also one of the reasons why we use experts at accident reconstruction. Given the facts we find, along with the accident being recreated, this expert can determine how and why the accident happened and give an expert opinion on which parties are at fault and how much. In cases where the degree of fault can make or break a case, effective expert testimony is critical.
The attorneys at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, understand no one is perfect. And, the fact you played a role in causing an accident isn’t necessarily something that will end your legal right to compensation for your damages.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and think you may be partly at fault, you should learn about your legal options. Contact our firm today.
Our car accident lawyers are well-versed in Ohio’s comparative negligence laws and committed to protecting your rights while fighting for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Call us at (419) 625-7770 today. Consultations are free, and there are no up-front costs. We only get paid when you recover compensation.