Auto accidents can result in significant physical, mental and financial damages.
When this happens, victims often resort to filing a civil lawsuit to receive compensation for their losses.
Shared fault as a common defense
Once you file a lawsuit against the other party from your accident and send your demand letter, the defense has a brief period to submit a response. More often than not, they will reply with an argument that you share some responsibility for the accident. If you are partially responsible, the court will apply the comparative negligence rule.
The comparative negligence rule requires the court to figure two percentages of fault, one belonging to the plaintiff and one belonging to the defendant. The court will also determine a final value for the damages, economic and non-economic, caused by the accident. The total compensation you can receive equals the value of damages minus your percentage of fault.
Ohio’s use of comparative negligence
There are two types of comparative negligence, pure and modified, and the state determines which the court will follow. Ohio adheres to the modified comparative negligence rule, which states that the plaintiff can only receive compensation if their percentage of fault is not more than the defendant’s portion.
For example, if the total damages from your auto accident amount to $50,000 and your percentage of fault equals 10%, you can only receive $45,000 in compensation. However, if the court finds you 60% at fault, you are no longer eligible.
The circumstances of every auto accident are unique, and the court considers every detail when determining fault.