How is fault determined in an Ohio car accident?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2024 | Car Accidents

In Ohio, determining fault in car accidents is primarily based on the legal principle of “comparative negligence.” This system evaluates the actions of everyone involved in the accident. A percentage of fault is assigned to each party. 

Ohio follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if a driver is found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, they cannot recover damages from the other party. However, if their fault is 50% or less, they can still recover damages, but the amount will be reduced by their percentage of fault.

The process used to prove fault after an accident is outlined here. 

Evidence Collection

The process of determining fault starts with evidence collection at the accident scene. This includes:

  • Police Reports: Law enforcement officers typically respond to car accidents and prepare detailed reports. These reports often contain crucial information, such as the officers’ observations, witness statements, and any citations issued.
  • Witness Statements: Testimonies from witnesses can provide an unbiased account of the events leading to the accident.
  • Photographic Evidence: Photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and road conditions can help reconstruct the accident.
  • Traffic Camera Footage: In some cases, traffic cameras or surveillance footage from nearby businesses can provide clear evidence of the accident.

Insurance Investigation

Insurance companies play a significant role in determining fault. After an accident is reported, the involved insurers conduct their investigations. They review the police report, examine the evidence, interview witnesses and sometimes employ accident reconstruction experts. Each insurance company will determine fault, which may lead to negotiations between insurers.

Determining fault in an Ohio car accident involves thoroughly examining evidence, insurance investigations, and sometimes court proceedings. Understanding Ohio’s comparative negligence rule is crucial, as it affects the ability to recover damages and the overall outcome of the case.

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