On August 3, 2023, a Marysville Police Division (MPD) officer witnessed a red Ford Fusion driving recklessly on Milford Avenue, south of Kenny Lane. The Fusion collided with a green pick-up truck, fled from the scene and attempted to strike the officer’s patrol vehicle.

While the MPD pursued the suspect, they received a report of an assault on Kenny Lane, and believe that the fleeing Fusion was involved. The pursuit continued until the suspect vehicle struck an oncoming semi head-on at Milford Avenue and State Route 4. The suspect sustained significant injuries, and the truck driver was uninjured. Responders also found an injured unconscious woman at Kenny Lane, who was taken to a local hospital. The driver of the Fusion was charged with felonious assault, and both incidents remain under investigation.

Here’s how liability could be determined in this and similar cases.

Liability in head-on collisions

Head-on car crashes can result in serious injuries and fatalities. In most cases, the driver who crossed the centerline or otherwise veered into the opposite lane is considered at fault. This could be due to distracted driving, impaired driving, reckless behavior (such as fleeing a crime scene) or a lack of attention to road conditions. However, liability is not always straightforward.

In some instances, both drivers may share responsibility if, for example, one driver was speeding and the other failed to yield the right of way. Additionally, road conditions, weather or mechanical failures may also contribute to the crash.

Negligence per se

In this case, negligence per se may apply. Negligence per se is a legal doctrine that can simplify the process of establishing fault in certain personal injury cases. It applies when a defendant’s actions violate a specific statute or law regulation that is designed to prevent the type of harm that occurred—such as fleeing the scene of a crime.

In these cases, the defendant is presumed to have acted negligently, so the plaintiff does not need to prove a breach of duty separately. The plaintiff must be within the class of individuals the statute was intended to protect, and the injury must be a result of the defendant’s violation. Despite simplifying the burden of proof for plaintiffs, negligence per se cases still require a thorough understanding of relevant laws and the ability to establish a clear link between the violation and the injury.

Discuss your accident claim with an Ohio personal injury lawyer right away

The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your accident claim. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 614-9524 so that I can evaluate your case right away.