A failure to stop accident leads to one person tragically dead, and one person was seriously injured in a crash near Mt. Orab. The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported that the driver of a 1997 Toyota Corolla was driving north on Stieman Road, when they failed to stop at a stop sign. The Corolla was hit by a 2010 Toyota Prius going east on OH-32 at Stieman Road. The Corolla went off the side of the road, and the driver was declared dead at the scene. His passenger also suffered serious injuries. The Prius driver suffered only minor injuries. Neither person in the Corolla was wearing their seatbelt.
Failing to stop at a stop sign and failing to wear a seatbelt are two examples of negligence. Here’s how that can affect a car accident case.
Negligence per se
Car accidents are typically litigated under a theory of negligence: the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty to avoid causing them harm, the defendant breached that duty and, as a result, the plaintiff suffered actual harm.
A driver’s duty of care includes following all traffic laws. When someone breaks traffic laws (or other laws) and harms someone as a result, this is considered negligence per se. There is a rebuttable presumption that when a defendant’s act breaks the law, that action is negligent.
The first incident of negligence was failing to stop at a stop sign. Absent unforeseeable circumstances, this is a clear violation of traffic laws. The defendant (or his estate) would typically be found at fault, unless an external factor prevented the car from stopping, such as a brake system failure or a tire blowout.
When someone injured in an accident is also negligent, comparative negligence applies. In this accident, the Corolla passenger was not wearing her seatbelt when the accident happened. She may be eligible to recover damages from the driver’s estate, but her own negligent act contributed to her injuries.
Comparative negligence allows a person to recover damages—but the award is reduced by the percentage of which they’re deemed at fault, so long as it’s under 50 percent. In other words, if a plaintiff was found to be 40 percent at fault, their compensation would be reduced by that amount.
Car accident claims can be complex, and having skilled legal representation on your side is key. The Law Offices of Tim Misny offers decades of experience navigating negligence and car accident claims—contact us today to get started.
Discuss your case with an Ohio personal injury lawyer
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your car accident case. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 944-4373 so that I can evaluate your case right away.