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Comparative Negligence

Who wins when two parties cause an accident?

Consider this: you pull into the intersection on a green light in order to turn left but the light turns red before you can go. Do you back up, sit there, or go ahead and turn?

The law is generally on your side if you decide to turn because drivers may clear the intersection after the light turns red. This makes perfect sense–after all, sitting in the middle of a busy intersection may be more dangerous than turning. But if that turn results in an accident, all the parties involved-even if legally turning-may be negligent.

In Ohio, comparative negligence is a rule of law that reduces the amount of damages, or money, a plaintiff may recover based on how much of the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to the cause of the injury. What this means is that if you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence the amount of money you may recover could be reduced if you were also at fault.

For cases like these, it is up to a judge or a jury to decide just how much fault is assigned to each party. And that percentage determines the compensation each party recieves. For example, if your damages are $100,000 and the jury finds you were 40-percent responsible for the accident, you are entitled to recover only $60,000.

The bottom line.

If you’ve been involved in an accident and you were partially at fault, contact a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can look at all the facts of the case, applicable laws, and mitigating factors to ensure comparative negligence is fairly assigned and compensation is appropriate.

Contact an attorney at Spitler & Williams-Young today for your free initial consultation.

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