You may have seen the other car coming at you through the intersection but were unable to maneuver quickly enough because of traffic circumstances. Although you thoroughly believe that the other driver was at fault, it’s natural to worry that law enforcement officers won’t see things the same way.
After all, fault for a crash can impact everything from who receives a ticket to whose insurance pays for the costs of the collision. How do you establish fault after a major car crash in Ohio?
Fault depends on the information gathered after the crash
Police officers responding to a major collision have to collect evidence in order to determine what happened. They will take pictures of the scene, collect photos or videos taken by others, and speak to the drivers involved, as well as witnesses.
Officers will consider everything from the state of the vehicles to the weather when determining who was at fault. Someone not breaking any laws could still be responsible if their driving didn’t reflect weather or road conditions. On the other hand, someone breaking the law may only be partially responsible for the crash because of the other driver’s actions.
All of this will generally wind up in the police report, which will guide the insurance companies handling claims and the courts reviewing a personal injury lawsuit about the circumstances of the collision.
You can have partial responsibility and still seek compensation
Ohio is one of many states that recognizes the idea of comparative negligence in personal injury cases, including those stemming from car crashes. Essentially, it’s possible for crashes to occur because of the actions of both people involved. When both parties have partial responsibility, the courts can assign each party a percentage of fault.
So long as you are less than 50% responsible for the crash, you have the right to seek compensation, although the courts will reduce the amount they award you based on the amount of fault that you carry for the crash.
In situations where you don’t believe that the police report accurately reflects fault, recreating the scene of the crash or even gathering evidence independently can help you establish fault. This make it easier for you to seek compensation.