Can You Get Compensation If the Accident Was Your Fault?

can you get compensation if the accident was your fault

When a crash is your fault, you expect consequences. Fines, insurance hikes, a damaged driving record – these penalties are par for the course. What you might not expect is a payout of thousands of dollars or more in accident compensation. But under Ohio’s comparative negligence laws, financial recovery is possible – and potentially substantial.

Here’s the deal: Rarely is fault completely one-sided. Even if you made an error in judgment, the other driver may hold some responsibility, too. Comparative negligence allows for damages proportional to each party’s percentage of fault.

With an attorney’s help negotiating your best interests, at-fault drivers regularly recover significant compensation. Car insurance, workers comp, product liability claims – multiple options exist if you know where to look. Don’t despair or assume you’re out of luck. Get the legal advice you need to minimize the financial devastation. Your first consultation is free.

Determining Fault in Car Accidents

After an accident, the first step is to determine the fault and to what degree. Was the accident entirely your fault, or was the other driver also negligent in some way? Most states now follow a comparative negligence rule rather than pure contributory negligence. In Ohio, you can recover compensation as long as you were considered less than 50% at fault.

Figuring out each party’s percentage of fault is not always straightforward. Insurance companies will investigate using police reports, witness statements, photographic evidence from the scene, data from the vehicle computer, and more. They will consider factors like speed, impairment, distraction, failure to yield, and traffic violations when deciding who was more negligent.

An experienced personal injury attorney can also investigate fault using forensic experts, accident reconstructionists, and other resources. Unlike insurance companies, our goal is to minimize your percentage of fault and maximize the compensation you receive.

Reporting your accident to your insurer quickly and accurately is crucial. Provide only the necessary facts and avoid speculating on or admitting fault unnecessarily. Anything you say to your insurer can affect their fault determination, so your attorney can handle communications on your behalf and make the strongest case possible.

Compensation Options When Partially At-Fault

There are two types of damages available to car accident victims: (1) economic damages like medical bills, lost income, and property damage, and (2) non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

In comparative negligence states like Ohio, the amount you can recover gets reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if your damages totaled $100,000, but you were 40% at fault, you could still potentially recover $60,000 (100k – 40% reduction).

  • But even when your fault exceeds 50%, there may be multiple options for getting compensation:
  • Your own auto insurance policy may cover medical payments.
  • If the accident happened at work, workers’ compensation may cover medical expenses.
  • If a defective product, like faulty brakes, contributed to the accident, the product manufacturer may share liability.

An attorney can help identify all viable compensation sources and recover the maximum amounts possible, even with high comparative negligence.

Steps to Take After an At-Fault Accident

Being in an at-fault accident can be confusing and emotionally taxing. Here are some steps to take that can start you on the path toward physical, emotional, and financial recovery:

  1. Seek medical attention immediately – even minor injuries can worsen without prompt treatment. Document your symptoms and follow all doctors’ orders.
  2. Report the accident to your insurance company promptly with just the basic facts. Provide additional documentation as requested.
  3. Take photographs of property damage, skid marks, and any other evidence at the scene. Get witness contact information if possible.
  4. Save all related records like medical bills, accident reports, and evidence of lost income or other economic damages.
  5. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can handle insurance negotiations on your behalf and aggressively seek compensation.

Why a Lawyer Can Help Maximize Compensation

Pursuing an injury claim after an at-fault accident may seem pointless, but a car accident lawyer can often recover far more than you might expect. An attorney’s unique skills and resources can make all the difference.

Here are just a few benefits of working with a professional:

  • Negotiating Leverage – Insurance companies take demands more seriously coming from attorneys. We know how to value cases accurately.
  • Legal Experience – We can argue why you should not be held primarily liable under state negligence laws.
  • Investigation Capability – Our team can recreate the scene, establish mechanical failure, subpoena phone records, get witness statements, and more to prove external fault.
  • Trial Experience – Most cases settle out of court, but an attorney ready and willing to go to trial gives you more settlement negotiating power.
  • Knowledge of Expenses – We account for current and future medical costs, property damage, lost income, and reduced earning capacity when calculating damages.

No matter what percentage of fault gets assigned to you, a skilled Columbus personal injury attorney can limit the financial impact on the compensation you receive. Reach out today if you or a loved one were injured in an auto accident in Ohio. Our team has helped thousands of clients maximize recoveries as fully as the law allows. Don’t leave money on the table – protect your rights.

Call The Jones Firm to schedule your free consultation now.


Author Bio

Geoff Jones is the CEO and Managing Partner of The Jones Firm, a personal injury law firm in Columbus, Ohio. With years of experience in personal injury law, he has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and falls, wrongful death, and other cases.

Geoff received his Juris Doctor from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and is a member of the Columbus Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being selected to Super Lawyers Rising Stars for 2022-2023.

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