Car accidents are unavoidable in Ohio. Sometimes, a driver might misinterpret traffic signals leading to a car accident or overestimate their ability to make a light. There are also situations when a car accident’s circumstances lead it to become a crime. Unfortunately, most people involved in a car accident are usually confused about when it is a crime.
In this article, the Ohio car accident lawyers discuss what it means for a car accident to be a crime. This will help you distinguish such a situation from when you can handle the accident through insurance carriers alone. So without further ado, let’s begin.
Most Car Accidents are Civil Matters
The truth is that most car accidents in Ohio are simply civil matters that insurance carriers can settle. However, there are situations when these insurance carriers refuse to give you your full settlement or completely deny a claim. You might have to eventually file a lawsuit against the driver at fault in such a situation.
When you do this, it will move your car accident case to the civil court system. This whole situation doesn’t have anything to do with criminal violations. Such car accidents are not considered a crime by law.
What Types of Car Accidents are Crimes?
There are scenarios when a car accident leads to criminal cases and civil cases. In Ohio, the criminal court system is available to hold you accountable when you break the law. Several violations could lead to your case becoming a criminal offense and your car accident a criminal matter. To better understand the type of car accidents that can be considered crimes below.
Driving Under the Influence
If you’re driving under drug or alcohol influence, which causes you to get into an accident, it could become a crime. Driving under the influence is illegal in Ohio. So although there’s a chance that you’re not at fault for the incident, even though you’re under the influence, it is still a crime.
You have a duty of care when you’re on the road. This means you have to operate your car with care when you’re on the road. When you breach this duty of care, it means you did something considered careless or unreasonable to put the other person at harm. By breaking the DUI laws, you automatically breach the duty of care. Most times, the second party only has to prove you were driving under the influence when seeking damages.
Driving recklessly could mean a lot of things. Maybe you swerved into oncoming vehicles, or you’re driving on the sidewalks. It could also mean you were tailgating or several other reckless driving actions. Speeding could also be an example of reckless driving if you were driving beyond the speed limit. Reckless driving would lead to you losing your driver’s license, paying fines, getting arrested, and many more.
Hit and Run
Hit and run is always a crime. For a car accident to be a hit and run case, it means the vehicle did not stop at the point of collision. Therefore, there was no identification provided neither did help the person injured because of the accident. While a hit and run commonly occurs between a car and a pedestrian, it could also occur between two moving vehicles. Therefore, you could face criminal charges if you hit a stationary property and didn’t provide your information or contact the law enforcement agencies.
If you kill someone in a car accident, it could involve manslaughter charges. This is when a driver unintentionally causes the death of other people in a car accident. In some cases, vehicle manslaughter is also referred to as vehicular homicide. It could be due to other crimes like driving under the influence or reckless driving. However, it is against the law and considered a crime in Ohio.
Contact an Ohio Car Accident Lawyer Today
The list above isn’t an all-inclusive one when it comes to all the criminal traffic violations that could take place in Ohio. Most times, the law enforcement officials that respond to the accident scene determine whether a driver should be charged with a crime due to the accident. A criminal case against a driver is always separate from the civil case filed by the other party.
If you end up sustaining severe injuries in a car accident caused by someone’s negligent action, you should seek the help of an Ohio car accident lawyer today. It doesn’t matter if the law enforcement officials charge them with a criminal offense. Your skilled attorney can investigate the accident to help you get maximum compensation. Initial consultations are free, so contact us today to review your case.