There are many times when another party bears 100 percent of the responsibility for a personal injury. However, there are also many situations where the victim is partially at-fault for what happened. Ohio enacted a comparative negligence law to govern these situations.
Below, our Cincinnati personal injury attorneys explain what this law means and how it is applied to personal injury claims. Contact us today for a free legal consultation to determine if we can help with your claim.
What Does The Law Say?
Under Ohio Revised Code 2315.33, injury victims are not barred from recovering damages if they bear any responsibility for their injury, as long as their percentage of contributory fault is not greater than the percentage of fault of all the defendants.
This means that you can still recover compensation for a personal injury if your percentage of fault is 50 percent or less.
However, the law also says that courts will diminish compensatory damages by an amount equal to the victim’s percentage of fault for the injury. This means that if your percentage of fault is 40 percent, your compensation award will be reduced by 40 percent. If you were awarded $100,000, you would receive just $60,000.
What Types Of Claims Are Usually Affected?
The law applies to all personal injury claims, but it often comes up in car accident claims. Even though Ohio’s comparative negligence law does not mention car insurance companies, they often apply the law in car insurance claims because they do not want to award one more penny of compensation to the victim than is necessary.
When Could Car Accident Victims Be Partially Responsible?
There are many situations where the victim of a car accident was partially responsible. For instance, you could be partially responsible if your tail lights were out or you were rear-ended after pulling out in front of another car.
You should review Ohio driving laws to be sure you understand all of your responsibilities when you are out on the road. Breaking any of these laws in the moments before being hit by another driver could make you partially liable.
Who Determines Fault For A Personal Injury?
In a personal injury lawsuit, a jury will determine the percentage of fault for every party involved. They will consider various factors, such as:
- The accident report, which is often filed after a slip and fall injury
- The police report, which often contains the responding officer’s thoughts on who was at fault
- Details about the accident
- Expert testimony
- Eyewitness accounts of the accident/injury
The insurance company will consider these same factors if you file an insurance claim.
What If I Disagree With The Insurance Company?
You may disagree with the amount of fault you are assigned by the insurance company. If your attorney is unable to negotiate a percentage of fault that you think is fair, Ohio gives you the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
An experienced attorney can advise you on whether it makes sense to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. He or she can guide you through every step of the process as well.
Contact O’connor, Acciani & Levy For A Free Consultation
Our attorneys have a detailed understanding of comparative negligence and other Ohio laws governing personal injury claims. We want these laws to be applied fairly so our clients have an opportunity to recover all of the compensation they deserve.
We take all personal injury cases on contingency. This means we do not charge for your initial consultation and provide our services free of charge unless we obtain compensation.
We have helped many of our clients recover compensation that has helped them move forward with their lives after a personal injury.