Ohio is a comparative negligence state. This means that a driver can collect the percentage of his damages which was the fault of the other driver. It also has the twist that a driver cannot collect if he is more than 50% at fault.
Zinger is arguing that son is more than 50% at fault. (He might be arguing 100%, but even people who run red lights and hit others broadside can often get some percentage fault to the driver who was hit.) This means son can collect nothing for his damage and must compensate the other driver for the proportion of the damages son was responsible for. For example say the fault was 80% son and 20% other driver. Each has $1000 in damage. Son gets nothing and other driver gets $800.
The insurance companies have "comp neg" statistics where the adjuster will negotiate with the other insurance company regarding percentage fault. (Because good comp negs looks good at performance review.) If they can't come to agreement, it goes to court where a judge or jury assesses the level of fault. If Zinger were on the jury, he would say 100% son's fault. If itdepends, he feels the other driver may have more fault than 0%. While I suspect the end result will be as Zinger says, if it ever gets to a jury, son's lawyer will try to use all his preemptory challenges on Zingers and try for as many itdepends as possible.
Last edited by tranquility; 07-23-2008 at 03:18 PM.
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