Motor vehicle accidents are a common cause of injuries and fatalities in the United States. Sometimes, one driver is clearly at fault for the accident. One example of this is an impaired driver swerving into an oncoming car situated squarely in their own lane. However, sometimes both drivers are at fault for a crash, like in cases where both motorists drove over the speed limit. In these scenarios, it may be more difficult to determine who owes what to whom in terms of monetary compensation.
Here is how fault determines the outcome of a car accident case in Ohio.
Contributory and comparative negligence
The main factor that determines fault in a car accident is whether the state where the accident took place is a contributory negligence or a contributory negligence state. In contributory negligence states, motorists do not get a settlement if they were at all responsible for the accident. This applies even if the other driver did way more wrong to cause the crash. However, in comparative negligence states, a driver may receive compensation based on how much they were at fault for the accident.
Ohio and comparative negligence
Ohio is a comparative negligence state, which means that no, drivers in Ohio do not have to prove that they had no fault in a crash to receive any compensation. The only caveat is that a motorist cannot be responsible for more than half of the proportion of the crash in order to receive compensation.
Knowing how fault determines the outcome of a motor vehicle crash lawsuit helps drivers determine their next steps.