Since the party at fault for a car accident in Ohio is also the one covering the resulting damages and losses, most accidents in Lucas County and especially Toledo become battles of attorneys. The parties try to attribute car accident liability to one another and thus obtain or at least avoid paying compensation.
Often, the party working with the best car accident lawyer wins. For those who are not sure they need a lawyer or have not yet contacted ones, a closer look at how car accident liability is established and why it matters may help.
Establishing Fault for a Car Accident in Toledo, OH – Comparative Negligence
Under Ohio laws, all the parties involved in an accident may share liability for it. The overall fault for the car accident is considered as 100%, and it is divided between the parties involved according to the available evidence.
The total damages and losses the accident caused will represent 100% as well, and the parties involved in the accident will have to cover the number of damages corresponding to their fault percentage.
Thus, someone who incurred losses of $20,000 in an accident with total losses of $100,000 may have to cover their losses out of their own pocket if the other parties manage to show they were 20% at fault for the car accident.
The starting point for determining car accident liability is the investigation the police officers conduct at the scene of the accident and the accident report they file as a result. The investigation usually focuses on determining how the accident occurred.
Any proof that a driver violated traffic laws could be a proof that they were at fault for the car accident. Examples of common traffic law violations are:
- Driving at speeds higher than the limits imposed by the Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.21
- Failure to maintain safe and reasonable distance from the preceding vehicle
- Operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield right of way
However, someone can share fault for a car accident without actually breaking the law. It can happen if the other party can prove they were negligent, and their negligence contributed to the accident or aggravated its consequences. For example, in a rear-end accident, a driver whose car’s stop lights do not work may share car accident fault, even if their car received servicing and maintenance on schedule.
Finally, some drivers assume fault for a car accident they were involved in or waive their right to compensation without realizing it. In the aftermath of the accident, some drivers apologize or express their regret for the damages and injuries the other parties incurred, and their gesture is interpreted as an admission of car accident liability. Other drivers flee the scene of the accident, violating Ohio Revised Code Section 4549.03 and appearing to be running away from responsibility.
How to Avoid Sharing Car Accident Liability in Toledo, OH
The best strategy for anyone involved in a car accident in Toledo, OH, is to get in touch with a local car accident attorney as soon as possible. Depending on when they take over the case, an experienced Toledo car accident lawyer may be able to help their client with the following case aspects:
- Collecting evidence from the scene of the accident (taking photos of the cars involved, obtaining video footage from nearby cameras, interviewing witnesses, and more)
- Avoiding mistakes, like assuming fault for the car accident, making false statements, or signing right waivers
- Evaluating, preparing, and filing the car accident claim
- Negotiating a fair settlement
- Appealing the insurance company’s decision and seeking justice in court
- Obtaining the desired compensation
Otherwise put, the car accident attorney will assist their client from the moment the accident takes place to the moment when they receive the compensation for their losses, advising them on the best course of action, taking over tiresome formalities, and securing the best outcome.
Prove Car Accident Liability with the Help of an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Toledo, OH
If you were the victim of a car accident in Toledo, OH, a Chester Law Group attorney can help you prove who was at fault for the accident and obtain the compensation you deserve. All you have to do is call us or use the contact form to schedule the first consultation. You are one step away from receiving the answers and advice you need, and we would love to offer them to you.