Car accidents are a part of life in modern day America as every day, dozens of people die in accidents across the nation. Some accidents are easily solved; a one-car accident, a head-on collision at the busy intersection or the accident caught on tape all may be easy to decipher, but some accidents are so complex that special teams spend weeks and even months recreating accidents scenes, building models and applying scientific principles. When the cause of an accident is unclear, it is sometimes left up to the court to decide how liable a party is for the damages.
A 20-year-old pregnant woman is dead after what police are calling a hit-and-run accident during the early morning hours on Monday. The woman had apparently stopped in the left-hand lane of the highway after hitting what turned out to be a bag of leaves. The woman's car was then struck by a car that had pulled over in the left-hand shoulder. The impact threw the woman over the highway divider and into southbound traffic. While talking to the driver of the car that struck her, the 20-year-old was struck again by a different car, which subsequently fled the scene. The woman died instantly from the trauma of the second car accident.
In Ohio, defendants can be held jointly and severally liable for economic damages. In order for a defendant to be jointly and severally liable, he or she must be more than 50% liable for the victim's losses or have committed an intentional tort, which is a certain type of action that is designed to intentionally injure an individual. If a defendant is less than 50% responsible for the victim's losses, then he or she is only responsible for a proportionate share of the damages.
Sometimes the cause of a loss can't be accurately determined, simply because there are multiple causes. Even in such cases, the injured party potentially can recover for his or her losses.
Source: WKBN 27, "Fatal hit-and-run crash victim identified," Gerry Ricciutti, Oct. 6, 2014