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What is Ohio's comparative negligence law?

When you are hurt in an accident that was caused by a negligent person, you might decide to seek compensation. One factor that sometimes comes up during the course of your claim is what percentage of the accident was caused by your own actions. Ohio uses the legal concept known as comparative negligence to govern the damages that can be recovered in personal injury cases.

What is comparative negligence?

Comparative negligence means that the amount of damages you can recover in a case will be reduced by the percentage of your own fault in the accident. This means that if you were considered to be responsible for 25 percent of an accident, the damages you could recover are reduced by 25 percent. That means that if your damages are $10,000, you would be able to recover $7,500 once the 25-percent reduction occurs.

Are there any limits to the comparative negligence law in Ohio?

Ohio is one of the states in the country that forbids a person from seeking compensation if his or her own negligence is greater than 50 percent. In most cases, this prevents the person who holds the most responsibility for the accident from seeking compensation from the person who was the least responsible.

If you were injured in a car accident, seeking compensation might be one of the top priorities on your list. It is vital that you understand how, if at all, Ohio's comparative negligence law will affect your case. Once you know how this law will affect your case, you can decide how you want to proceed.

Source: Ohio Department of Insurance, "Understanding Ohio's Comparative Negligence Law," accessed Aug. 17, 2015

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