Who Is Liable In An Accident?

An important step in a personal injury or wrongful death claim is finding all of the parties liable for the accident. This often seems straightforward, but it's common for wrongdoers to escape liability because the victim overlooked their culpability.

To hold someone liable in an Ohio personal injury lawsuit, the victim must convincingly establish four elements or the claim will be dismissed:

  • The defendant owed the victim a duty of care,
  • The defendant neglected the duty of care,
  • The defendant's failed duty directly caused the victim's injuries, and
  • The victim suffered actual harm or injury from the defendant's negligence.

Each and every defendant in a lawsuit may contest his or her liability, so it's important for the plaintiff to assemble a strong case against each at-fault party.

At-Fault Accident Liability In Ohio

Sometimes, a wrongdoer's liability is not readily apparent and is only discovered through a careful investigation.

For example, imagine you are injured by a drunk driver. It's obvious that the drunk driver is liable, but what about the bar that just over-served him or her? Perhaps the drunk driver was borrowing a vehicle from a friend who had loaned the car to the driver while aware that he or she had been drinking. These wrongdoers could potentially be liable to the victim, but only if they are named in the lawsuit.

The above illustration is just a simple example of parties that could be liable in an accident. It often takes a detailed investigation, including formal discovery, to uncover all the liable parties in a personal injury or wrongful death suit. An experienced Ohio lawyer can help discover all wrongdoers and help the victim hold them liable.

If you're interested in learning more, visit our personal injury lawsuit process page.

If someone's negligence caused injury to you or resulted in the death of your loved one, the skilled attorneys at The Donahey Law Firm can help. Contact us online, or call 1-866-918-5886 to arrange a free consultation with an Ohio lawyer.