Ohio Car Accidents & Insurance: Whose Policy Pays? | Kisling, Nestico & Redick
Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC Hurt in a Car? Call KNR.
A car crash happens in an instant. But accidents can lead to long-lasting effects, mounting expenses, and insurance issues.
Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
August 29, 2023

A car crash happens in an instant. But accidents can lead to long-lasting effects, mounting expenses, and insurance issues. In Ohio, every driver must have a minimum amount of insurance coverage, yet getting compensation if you’ve been injured can be tremendously complex.

You can secure maximum compensation from all appropriate parties by understanding the laws regarding car insurance, negligence, and auto accident liability.

Car Insurance After an Ohio Auto Accident

Perhaps the most frequently asked question after a car accident is, “Whose insurance will pay for damages, medical bills, and other losses?” The answer will depend on factors like policy limits of the parties involved. Much also rests on state law regarding fault and liability.

States primarily follow one of two systems regarding car insurance liability: the no-fault system or the at-fault (also known as tort) system. In no-fault states, your insurance company pays for car accident damages (up to your policy limit). This is regardless of who caused the accident. In at-fault states, like Ohio, the driver’s or responsible party’s insurance pays.

Ohio is a No-Fault State

While a no-fault system may seem like a more direct way to secure compensation, Ohio’s at-fault system has advantages. Under this system, motorists are held accountable because accidents result in higher insurance premiums.

The at-fault system also provides flexibility in pursuing compensation. If the circumstances call for more than a no-fault claim would allow, a victim could file a claim with their policy, the other driver’s insurance, or a lawsuit against the driver or another negligent party.

Generally, the main benefit of Ohio being a no-fault state is that insurance premiums are lower on average. Insurance companies don’t have to automatically pay for policyholders’ assorted losses, reducing the total claims they pay out.

The at-fault system ultimately leads to most insurance disputes about who and to what degree someone was at fault for an accident.

Comparative Negligence & Sharing Fault

Identifying who’s at fault for a car crash in Ohio is vital, but it’s also not always straightforward. Ohio follows a comparative negligence standard. The more a driver is deemed responsible for a car accident and subsequent injuries, the more they are held financially liable.

If one driver holds all the fault, they will be 100% liable. However, if both drivers share liability, you can only recover damages in proportion to their responsibility. For example, if you’re deemed 20% at fault because you were speeding, you may only recover 80% of your damages.

The Accident Details May Dictate Who Pays

Understanding how Ohio law guides car accident insurance claims makes it easier to appreciate why determining fault is essential. This usually requires an in-depth investigation and the collection of evidence of negligence. Here are common car accident scenarios and who’s insurance may be held liable for the resulting losses.

  • One Driver at Fault: If one driver is predominantly at fault, their insurance pays for the damages. You can dispute the insurance adjuster’s negligence assessment in court by providing compelling evidence. Such evidence can include police reports, medical documents, and photos of vehicle damages.
  • Multiple Drivers at Fault: In multi-vehicle accidents where numerous drivers share fault, each driver is responsible for a proportion of the damages relative to their degree of responsibility.
  • Employee on Duty: If an employee, driving for work-related activities, causes an accident, the employer’s insurance often takes the lead in covering the damages.
  • Borrowed Vehicle: Car insurance usually follows the vehicle. If an accident occurs while a friend is driving your car, your insurance would primarily cover the damages unless your friend took the car without permission. In that case, their insurance could be liable.

Uninsured Drivers & Uninsured Coverage

If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you could sue them for damages. However, this can be challenging and time-consuming. It can also be potentially futile if you’re attempting to recover compensation from someone with limited means. In these cases, your best option is to file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company.

This is coverage you must purchase in addition to your minimum policy. Still, it is useful in hit-and-run accidents and when the at-fault driver’s policy is insufficient to cover your damages.

Secure Max Compensation with Legal Help

Receiving fair compensation after a car accident isn’t as easy as it should be. If you’re confronted with insurance issues or worries about securing total compensation, the Ohio car accident attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick are here to help.

We will diligently evaluate your case, assist in establishing liability, and strive to maximize the damages you recover. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free, no-risk consultation.