Should I get a car accident lawyer if the crash wasn’t my fault?
Yes. One of the tactics insurance adjusters use to reduce settlements is blaming the victim for the crash.
Every state has its own rules about car accident liability and compensation. Generally speaking, in Ohio, the more blame an insurance company can heap onto a crash victim, the less they must pay. Never accept more blame and less compensation than you deserve.
If you were injured or a loved one died in an Ohio car accident, don’t try to take on the insurance company and their lawyers alone. Contact us for a free case consultation. At no cost to you, a member of our team can estimate the value of your claim and help weigh your options for maximum compensation.
How does the insurance company determine fault?
Determining fault in car accidents is a complex process that requires thorough investigation. Some of the key evidence may include the official police accident report, physical evidence like skid marks, and witness testimony. Of course, the insurance company is likely to interpret the evidence in a manner that works to their advantage – that is, whatever helps them pay you less money.
Our Ohio car accident attorneys know the accident was not your fault. We know how to set the record straight and relentlessly pursue top compensation.
How does fault affect my settlement?
Ohio is a modified comparative fault state. That means, for example, if a person were found to be 10 percent at fault in a crash, their recovery would be reduced by 10 percent. In Ohio, only people who are less than 51 percent at fault can receive damages.
Who is at fault in a head-on collision and other crash types?
Typically, the driver who did not have the right of way is at fault in a crash. That sounds simple, but it isn’t. There can be significant disagreement among those involved, investigators, police, and witnesses about who had the right of way.
The following car accident fault information is general. It may not apply to your specific accident. If you were in an accident, the Gervelis Law Firm’s unique Rapid Investigation Team can get to the bottom of who caused your injuries and collect the evidence you need to build a strong case. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation.
- Right or left turn accident. The turning vehicle is usually the one at fault. The driver may have attempted to turn too soon or after a traffic light turned red. However, if the oncoming driver was speeding, they may be at fault.
- Changing lanes, merging. Failing to make a clean lane change could result in a T-bone, broadside, sideswipe, rear-end collision, or another type of crash. The driver who stayed in their lane is rarely at fault in this type of accident.
- Intersection crash. Typically, the driver that does not have the right of way is at fault, but in an intersection, the right of way isn’t always obvious. Red-light runners who cause accidents, however, are almost always at fault.
- Rear-end accident. Usually, the driver in the back is the one at fault, but not always. Common causes for rear-enders include tailgating (following too closely), distracted driving, speeding, and drunk driving (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, aka DUI). Situations where the driver in front may be liable include sudden braking for no good reason (brake-testing), making a risky lane change or turn, and having defective equipment like broken blinkers.
- Drunk driving accident (OVI or DUI). If an intoxicated or impaired driver contributed to a crash, they are almost always at fault.
- Distracted driving. Along with texting while driving, other examples of distracted driving include eating while driving, adjusting the radio while driving, watching videos while driving, or operating a GPS device. Distracted drivers are usually at fault in an accident but proving distraction can be challenging. An experienced attorney knows how to get to the bottom of what happened and collect digital as well as physical evidence of the other driver’s recklessness.
- Backing up, backing out, parking lot, alley, and driveway accident. Drivers backing out or up almost never have the right of way and are usually at fault in a crash.
- Multiple cars, pileups, chain reactions, or three-car accidents. Fault is often determined for each impact. The driver in the back is not necessarily to blame.
- Pedestrian accident, crosswalks, jaywalking. Pedestrians are rarely at fault in car accidents. Even if they are outside of a crosswalk, pedestrians injured in car accidents can still collect damages. It depends on the circumstances.
- Bicycle accident, in or outside of bicycle lane. In Ohio, cyclists generally are not required to use the bicycle lane even if it exists. So, just because the collision happened outside the bicycle lane doesn’t mean it was the cyclist’s fault. It depends on the circumstances.
Get the justice and compensation you deserve
If you were hurt or a loved one died in an Ohio car accident, contact us for a free case consultation. Find out more about how we can establish liability, protect your right to compensation, and seek justice on your behalf.
You should know that there is no upfront or out-of-pocket expense for our lawyers’ services. Our car accident attorneys work on contingency. That means their fee is a percentage of the settlement or order. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
A strict statute of limitations (legal time limit) applies to car accident claims and Ohio wrongful death lawsuits. Do not delay. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation right now.