This depends on the facts of the accident. But even if you did make one mistake, that doesn’t mean the other driver’s insurance company won’t pay you.
Whenever more than one person is at fault, Ohio law requires that the responsibility be shared between the people who caused the accident. If the lawsuit gets as far as a trial, the jury will be asked to assign a percentage of the fault to each driver, and then apply that percentage to the damage actually suffered.
So if you had $10,000 in damages, but were 20% at fault, you still recover $8,000.00.
Most lawsuits don’t get that far, of course, and the people – and insurance companies – involved agree on a settlement amount. But there’s more to it than whether one person or the other technically violated the law.
Let’s say, in your case, that you were going one mile per hour over the speed limit. Did that have anything to do with causing the accident? Highly unlikely.
Even if a lawsuit like that did make it as far as a jury, the attorney for the other driver would have trouble arguing that the extra “speed” was a good reason for giving you less money than your actual damages.
Seat belt violations, tail lights that aren’t working, and certain types of lane changing can have the same effect. The insurance company’s attorneys can always come up with an argument; but there’s a difference between thinking of an argument and being able to make it with a straight face.
In the end, usually, common sense nearly always wins.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years, If you’re worried that something you did may restrict your right to recover all your damages, speak with an experienced Accident Lawyer – call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775 in Cincinnati.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.