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Can You Sue if You’re the Rear Driver in an Accident?

Every now and then, Cincinnati car accident lawyers meet with a potential client who was the rear driver in a car crash. Typically, the rear driver is the one found to be at fault. This is why it’s important that you meet with an attorney who can review your case and let you know what your options are. You may be one of the few people who can pursue damages in a situation like this.

The good news is that your car accident lawyer in Ohio will be honest with you from the start. If they don’t believe you have a valid claim, they’ll let you know upfront. Nobody wants to waste their time with a frivolous lawsuit. In fact, an attorney can get in trouble for knowingly filing a frivolous claim. That’s why they carefully review each case before they agree to represent a potential client. If the case has merit and you are still within the two (2) year Ohio statute of limitations, there’s a good chance the attorney will agree to represent you.

Normally the Rear Driver Is Deemed to Be at Fault

In most cases, the court will find that the rear driver was at fault in a rear-end collision. This is because the rear driver usually has the last chance to avoid the crash. The front driver can only see what’s going on in their rearview and side mirrors. The rear driver has a clear picture of what is about to happen. If they’re driving too fast, they have the option of slowing down. If they notice the car in front of them has slammed on their brakes, they may have time to hit the brakes.

Of course, this is just the general rule. There are times when the rear driver has no way to avoid the collision. In cases like this, the court will have to determine who was more at fault. In Ohio, if you’re found to be partially at fault, you may still be entitled to damages.

Ever since 1980, the courts in Ohio will allow you to recover as long as you’re less than 50% at fault. Keep in mind, however, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if you demanded $100,000 and are 20% at fault, your claim will be reduced by $20,000. Your Cincinnati car accident lawyer will take this into account when they work to negotiate a settlement.

Every Case is Unique – It Depends on the Facts

In order to collect damages, your Cincinnati car accident lawyer is going to have to prove fault. They can do this using a variety of different things. Some of the evidence your attorney may submit in support of your claim include:

  • Pictures of the damage to the cars
  • A video of the accident
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Dashcam video from either you or the defendant
  • The police report

If the evidence demonstrates that you were the victim, your attorney will proceed with legal action. Ideally, the insurance company will see things your way and pay your claim. At a minimum, they should be willing to settle your claim for a reasonable amount.

You Also Need to Prove Damages

It’s always important to remember that, even if you were not at fault, you still have to prove damages. If you didn’t suffer any out-of-pocket expenses, then you really have no reason to sue. For example, if the defendant’s insurance company paid all your medical bills and you didn’t miss any time from work, what were your losses? Your Cincinnati car accident lawyer will have to prove damages for you to recover. Some of these damages may include:

  • Medical bills and future medical bills
  • Property damage to your vehicle
  • Pain and suffering if you sustain serious injuries
  • Lost wages and lost future income

If you didn’t suffer any of these things, there’s a good chance your attorney will advise you not to sue. The court is going to dismiss your claim if you didn’t suffer any actual damages.

Consider Calling a Skilled Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or your loved one were injured in a car accident, you have options. Of course, you can sit back and wait for the insurance company to change their mind. Or you can talk to an experienced Cincinnati car accident lawyer and see if you have legal recourse. You can call today and schedule a free, initial consultation.

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