Can you be liable for damages if the other person was partly at fault?

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2023 | blog, Car And Motorcycle Accidents

Car accidents can be devastating events that often lead to property damage and injuries. When an accident occurs, determining who is at fault will establish liability for the resulting damages.

The question remains on what happens if both drivers share some degree of fault. You might understandably wonder if you are responsible for damages, even if the other person was partly to blame.

Contributory negligence

In situations where both drivers played a role in causing the accident, contributory negligence comes into play. Contributory negligence means that if a person’s actions contributed to the accident, they might not recover any damages. Under Ohio’s comparative negligence law, your degree of fault will lessen your recoverable damages.

Modified comparative negligence

Some states follow a modified comparative negligence rule, which has a threshold. In Ohio, for instance, a claimant found to be 51% or more at fault cannot recover any damages whatsoever. This threshold exists to ensure that negligent drivers will compensate other affected motorists through their insurance policies, even if the other drivers share a portion of the blame.

Insurance implications

Car insurance companies also consider shared fault when determining compensation. If you share fault in an accident, your insurance premium might increase. The percentage of fault attributed to you may determine the extent to which your premiums will increase.

There were 1,593,390 crashes that resulted in injuries for the year 2020, to say nothing of the crashes that caused deaths or property damage. Car crashes are rarely straightforward. It is often the case that two or more parties share the blame and liability.