Injured in a Car Accident? How Fault is Established in Ohio
Each state has a specific approach to establishing fault in a car accident. State law dictates whether insurance will classify an accident as no fault, leaving both parties responsible for their own damages, or whether there is an attributable degree of fault. The no fault insurance method will only attribute responsibility in the circumstance of either serious injury, or when a certain monetary threshold is met. Alternatively, comparative fault negligence claims come in two forms: either pure or modified/partial. Pure comparative negligence is based on the notion that even if a party is at majority fault, they will still be able to recover the damages for which they were not at fault. Partial comparative negligence bars recovery if the damaged party is 51% or more responsible for the injury; if one of the injured parties is 49% responsible they can recover damages, which will be reduced by their degree of fault. Ohio follows the partial comparative negligence fault rule.
How is fault established?
When fault in a car accident is being investigated, insurance companies are responsible for determining which party was at fault, as well as to what degree. This is particularly important in Ohio due to the percentage requirement for establishing a claim. The insurance company considers the reasonable person standard, i.e. what a reasonable person, given the same situation, would have done, as well as the initial police report, and any applicable motor vehicle laws.
In Ohio, drivers must maintain a minimum amount of automobile insurance in order to drive a vehicle as required by the Ohio Financial Responsibility Law. The minimum amount of bodily coverage is $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and $25,000 per accident involving property damage. If you are found to be liable for more damages than your insurance covers and you are unable to pay them, your assets may be taken and if you fail to pay, you may even have your wages garnished. Ohio legislatures have taken this very seriously; it is now stated in Ohio law that if a driver does not have insurance while driving, he may suffer suspension of his license, vehicle impoundment, court costs, and reinstatement fees.
More information on the most recent Ohio Legislature’s submission of the budget with Equitable Subrogation Bill, please visit our post here.
Can Our Trusted Injury Lawyers Toledo Help You?
Establishing liability and fault in an automobile accident can be difficult to understand and may seem unfair at times. If you have been in an automobile accident and feel that you have been wrongfully attributed with the majority of liability or have questions about your degree of fault, please contact us at 419-241-5500 or email us, using our website. The attorneys at Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott are conveniently located in Toledo, OH and have over 40 years of experience helping those with a personal injury issue to achieve satisfactory results.