Understanding Comparative Fault in an Ohio Personal Injury Case

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Understanding Comparative Fault in an Ohio Personal Injury Case

May 11, 2021
By Lafferty Gallagher Scott

Accidents happen in Ohio every day, and when they are the result of another person’s negligence, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Ohio law recognizes that when you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should not have to suffer losses, such as medical expenses and lost income. 

However, Ohio law also recognizes that if you contributed to the accident, you are also partly liable and therefore, the amount of damages you receive is reduced. This legal concept is known as comparative fault and if you have been hurt, it is important to know how this law could affect your case.

Understanding Comparative Fault

Negligent, or careless, parties are responsible for paying for an accident victim’s damages after an accident, whether it is a slip and fall, car crash, or other type of accident. Comparative negligence, or comparative fault, determines how liability is shared when the accident victim was partly at fault for the accident. When an accident victim is found partly to blame for their own injuries, it will affect the amount of damages they recover.

Modified Comparative Negligence vs. Pure Comparative Negligence

Every state in the country has comparative fault laws, but not all of them follow the same model. Some states follow pure comparative negligence laws, which bar accident victims from recovering any damages at all when they were just one percent at fault for an accident. Fortunately, Ohio follows a modified comparative negligence model, which makes it much easier for injured individuals to recover the damages they need.

Under Ohio’s modified comparative negligence laws, accident victims can recover damages as long as their degree of fault is not more than 50%. If an accident victim is found to be more than 50% at fault, they cannot recover any damages at all. When an injured individual is found to be 50% or less at fault, any damages they are awarded are reduced by the same percentage of fault.

For example, two drivers are in an accident. One driver was speeding, while the other was texting at the time of the crash. The texting driver may sustain $50,000 in damages and is assigned 40% of fault because they were behaving negligently behind the wheel and contributed to the collision. The texting driver’s degree of negligence is less than 51% and so, they can claim damages. Instead of the $50,000 in damages they sustained, they will receive $30,000 because their damages are reduced by the same degree of fault they hold for the accident.

Call Our Ohio Personal Injury Lawyers for Sound Legal Advice

After an accident, the liable party will try to use the state’s comparative fault laws to avoid paying full damages. It is for this reason you need an experienced personal injury lawyer in Ohio to assist with your case. At Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC, we know how to defend against allegations of fault so you recover the full damages you deserve. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys.










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