Auto accident liability makes up a large part of tort or personal injury law. Ohio residents are expected to abide by the rules of the road and have an implied duty of care each time they enter their motor vehicle. This means obeying the laws of traffic, yielding the right of way, not driving while distracted, and not driving while inebriated.
Those injured in auto accidents have a right to be compensated if the driver who injured them committed negligence. The following will outline the legal standard of negligence and your options for recovering damages.
Each state handles injury lawsuits differently. However, most have some variation of comparative negligence. This means that two individuals can be partly responsible for an accident. A determination is made as to the percentage of blame each individual has. In states like California and Washington, an injured party may sue another party even if they are 99% responsible for an accident. In states like Alabama, an injured party may not recover damages even if they are 1% responsible for an accident. In Ohio, you can recover damages so long as you are no more than 50% responsible for an accident.
The vast majority of accidents will end up being caused by a driver whose attention was divided between the road and something else. These types of accidents have escalated in recent years because of cell phones, infotainment systems, and numerous other distractions. When you are injured by a distracted driver, you are entitled to recover damages for your injuries.
Damages can be recovered in three different ways. You can either file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company or directly sue the driver. Alternatively, if the driver’s insurance policy does not cover the full extent of your damages, you might consider filing a claim against your own Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
In most cases, however, you will end up fighting with the insurance company for every dime that you are owed. As for-profit businesses, insurance companies make money by denying claims, not by paying them. When they do pay them, they want to pay them for as little as possible or as little as allowed by the law. When your injuries are severe, hiring a skilled personal injury attorney to litigate your claim is the only way to ensure that you get the full compensation that you deserve.
The Bowling Green auto accident attorneys at Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC have over 40 years of experience litigating claims on behalf of injured parties. Give us a call or talk to us online to set up a free consultation today.
All of our partners are AV Peer Review Rated* through Martindale-Hubbell. Out-of-state referrals are welcome for all
areas of practice we handle, including personal injury, workers’ compensation and insurance claims issues.