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What if Both Drivers are at Fault in a Cincinnati Auto Accident?

Jun 2, 2014
3 min read

auto accident negligenceWe routinely get phone calls from potential clients in Cincinnati involved in auto accidents where both drivers have some level of negligence, or where the responding police officer cannot determine fault so no driver is issued a citation. This situation often involves intersections and lane changes.

We have to take a close look at these types of accidents before proceeding with a claim as they can be very difficult (and costly) to pursue.

Contributory Fault or Comparative Negligence in Ohio Car Accidents

The law in Ohio that applies here is found under Ohio Revised Code 2315.33, which reads as follows:

“The contributory fault of a person does not bar the person as plaintiff from recovering damages that have directly and proximately resulted from the tortious conduct of one or more other persons, if the contributory fault of the plaintiff was not greater than the combined tortious conduct of all other persons from whom the plaintiff seeks recovery.”

In other words, to be successful with such claims, a plaintiff in Ohio cannot be more than 50% negligent in order to recover for damages. Further, his/her damages are reduced by his/her percentage of fault.

For example, say driver number 1 is 20% at fault for an accident, and driver number 2 is 80% at fault. If driver number 1 sues driver number 2, driver number 1’s damages would be reduced by the 20%. So, if the damages were $1000.00, the recovery would be reduced to $800.00.

Auto Accident Attorneys

In a recent decision, the Tenth Appellate District Court in Miller v. Mangan, 2014-Ohio-2146, reiterated the comparative negligence standard in Ohio. There, the court upheld a summary judgment against plaintiff-appellant Miller who sustained injuries when he was struck by a truck while driving a go-cart after dark in a residential neighborhood. The go-cart was black and was not equipped with any lights. The court found “no reasonable possibility” that the defendant would be found liable and that plaintiff Miller’s negligence “was clearly greater for riding after dark in dark clothes in a black go-cart with no lights.”

McKenzie & Snyder represents injured parties in the Greater Cincinnati and Dayton areas, including Hamilton, Fairfield, Colerain, Middletown, Finneytown, Forest Park, Reading, West Chester, Amelia, Batavia, Oxford, Springboro, Yellow Springs and more.

“We Don’t Get Paid Unless You Do.”

Written by Andrew Tobergte


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