In any car accident claim, fault is considered to be one of the most critical components taken into consideration. When a claim for damages resulting from an accident is filed, the first thing that needs to be determined is the party that caused the accident. The party believed to be at fault is the party whose negligence caused the accident to transpire. Typically, the at-fault party must pay for any damages that stem from his or her negligence.
If more than one party or individual caused the accident or the damage, then negligence is distributed among the involved parties according to state law.
Ohio law is based on comparative negligence law. This law allows individuals to recover a portion of their loss for any personal injury or damage suffered in an accident where they are partially at fault.
Your portion of fault in an accident, referred to as your contributory negligence, reduces your ability to recover for damage or loss in proportion to how much your negligence or wrongdoing contributed to the accident. The concept of contributory negligence can greatly influence how much compensation you can receive for your injuries—sometimes eliminating your ability to receive compensation completely.
If your contributory fault in an accident is not greater than the combined negligence of all the other individuals or parties involved, then your contributory negligence does not bar you from recovering damages.
Prior to 1980, Ohio law was based on contributory negligence. Under old state law, individuals who were hurt in an accident could only obtain compensation for their damages or injuries if they did not contribute to the accident at all. Contributory negligence meant that if you were guilty of negligence to any degree in an accident, then you were not eligible to recover any damages. This remained true even if you were deemed to have a very small percentage of fault compared to the other party.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s highly recommended you consult with an experienced Ohio personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights to full and fair compensation are protected.
The Fitch Law Firm has been serving injury victims throughout Ohio for 30+ years… call toll-free (855) LAW-OHIO for a 100% free consultation.