It is possible for both or more drivers to be at some degree of fault in a wreck. When it comes to Cincinnati, consider the confusing overpasses, complicated intermingling of freeways and streets, and the high-crash areas such as Over-the-Rhine. It’s no wonder that so many people worry about fault and whether they are at fault or not. If you’ve been involved in a crash where both drivers are at fault, you should contact a Cincinnati car crash lawyer right away.
Exploring Comparative Negligence Where Both Drivers are at Fault
Ohio’s system is an “at-fault” system, but unlike California or other states where one person is to blame, here both drivers can fall into hot water. For example, if the other driver that hit you ran a red light, you might quickly assume that the was at fault. But, if you were speeding, then you are also partially at fault.
Another common example is a rear-end collision. Clearly, the person behind your vehicle was too close to stop in time. But, if your brake lights were out, or you braked harshly, suddenly, and with intent to cause a crash, e.g., road rage, then you’re also partially at fault.
Both of those examples show clear evidence of both drivers not following traffic law. But, there are many situations in which it’s not so clear-cut. A driver could be merging into your lane, and simply not see you because you were in their blind spot. However, if they had their signal on, you should have attempted to speed up, slow down, or alert them of your presence with your horn. A police report would show that you did not take action to avoid the crash, leaving you partially at fault.
What Can Lead to Partial Fault?
Virtually any traffic violation or criminal infraction that affected the crash can lead to partial fault. Speeding, not making complete stops, and known mechanical issues all contribute to a partial fault. Speeding is the most frequent, and it could not have been a portion that resulted in the accident at all.
You could have been “speeding” at about 5 miles per hour over the limit and have someone blow through an intersection where you had the right of way. But, that tiny bit of speeding could result in a 0 to 15% or more fault calculation.
What is Third Party Liability?
Many drivers don’t realize that their insurance policies are third party liability, meaning that they work to protect you from legal claims from another person. Even when you’re the victim in a crash, it doesn’t stop the other driver from trying to file a claim also. You will have to go through the process of showing that you are the victim, and they are the person responsible for the wreck.
The Fault Game and Court System
The fault game usually starts the minute that you step out of your vehicle at the auto crash site. To that extent, one driver might apologize, unknowingly admitting fault, or may accuse you of causing the crash.
If another driver starts blaming you, then contact the police immediately. If you feel threatened at all, then it’s time to get back into your car and wait for Cincinnati police to respond to your call.
Ultimately the fault game doesn’t come down to, “he said, she said, they said,” business instead, crash recreation experts will evaluate the evidence and decide. Police will often make a cursory summation at the scene. Give them some due credit here as they see these accidents daily and are often right.
When it comes to your case in court, then you’ll have to manage your fault percentage there. An insurance company may claim that their expert decided you were 12% at fault, and your attorney’s expert may have decided that you were 3% at fault. This will continue until they arrive at a reasonable settlement agreement or take the case to court.
If the wreck claim goes to court, then you’re looking at having to see what the judge says about your extent of the fault.
An Ohio Car Accident Lawyer on How To Handle a Claim With Both Drivers at Fault
When you’re handling any type of auto insurance claim, it’s vital that you realize the full scope of the situation. Many people are very upset when they learn that they’ll be taking a bit off their compensation because of partial fault. The partial fault isn’t something that people are ever happy with, but it’s not something that you can easily fight.
These questions come down to whether there were traffic infractions or not, or if the wreck was avoidable. With an attorney, you can fight to reduce your percentage, increase compensation, and attempt to recover what is fair for your damages.
Call the Cincinnati personal injury law firm of Young, Reverman & Mazzei today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.