Imagine that you are involved in a serious car accident caused by a drunk driver in downtown Columbus, or that a drowsy driver falls asleep at the wheel on I-70 and drifted across the median to cause a head-on collision with your car. Or, for instance, imagine that you were harmed in a slip and fall accident in your local grocery store because someone spilled vegetable oil in one of the aisles and none of the employees cleaned it up.

Now imagine that you file an accident claim against the responsible party, and that party comes back and says you should not be entitled to any compensation because you were also partially at fault for the accident.

In the car accident lawsuit hypotheticals I gave you above, for example, imagine that the at-fault driver says you were speeding at the time of the collision, so you do not deserve compensation. Or in the grocery store hypothetical, the business owner says you were wearing shoes that were difficult to walk in, so you share some of the blame.

In any of these scenarios, you are dealing with the issue of comparative fault or contributory negligence. Let me tell you more about how this works in Columbus, Ohio, and let me be clear: I will do everything I can to get you the compensation you deserve.

Understanding Contributory Negligence Law in Ohio

Under Ohio’s contributory fault law, if a plaintiff is partially at fault for an accident, the plaintiff is still allowed to recover damages as long as that plaintiff is not 51% or more responsible. As long as the plaintiff’s fault is under 51%, the plaintiff can recover, but the ultimate damages award will get reduced by his or her portion of the fault.

What does this look like in practice?

Imagine in one of the car accident scenarios I gave you that the court says you are 20% to blame because you were speeding. If the court awarded you $1,000,000 without taking into account your own negligence, that recovery would be reduced by your percentage of fault, or 20%. So, the equation would look like this: $1,000,000 – 20% ($200,000) = $800,000. To be clear, you would recover a total of $800,000.

What happens if the court says you are 51% to blame? As soon as a plaintiff is 51% or more at fault, Ohio law bars that plaintiff from recovery.

Defending Against Contributory Negligence 

An experienced Columbus accident lawyer can defend against the at-fault party’s allegations of contributory negligence. I will build your case and will do all that I can to prove that you do not bear any responsibility for the accident.

If you already admitted fault, we can still discuss moving forward with your claim. I will strategize to show that you are well below 51% at fault, and we may even be able to show that contributory negligence is not in fact an issue.

Contact Me About Your Accident Case

If you are concerned about contributory negligence, I will do everything I can to prove that you are entitled to compensation. When someone else is at fault, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me in my office at 877.614.9524 today to learn more about how I can help with your case.

Accidents Blog Personal Injury