You’re heading down a freeway when suddenly there are headlights in front of you. A head-on collision on a freeway and the driver says that they swerved. Excuse me? That’s right. Drivers will do it all the time, swerving to avoid a deer or buck. Car accidents involving animals can be frightening, requiring drivers to make split-second decisions. Often the decision results in a crash either way.
The same is said about bad weather. Ohio is no stranger to the cold, heavy rains, blizzards, and floods. These can all lead to terrible road conditions and worse accidents than ever imagined. The struggle is identifying who is actually at fault when you have this natural element involved in the wreck.
If you’ve been injured in any type of car accident, reach out to an Ohio attorney that handles car wreck cases.
No-Fault Rules for Car Accidents Involving Animals and Weather Conditions
In some lucky states, you can file a claim for a no-fault accident. That means if a deer or dog runs out into the street and causes a wreck, there’s no worry. Informality Ohio is not one of those states. So if you’re in a crash with anything other than another person, your insurance will assign you fault. That means they don’t consider the circumstances or relevant factors.
For situations that involve one vehicle hitting another, often, the fault still falls to the person who swerved. When you have accidents caused by bad weather, the fault becomes even more complicated.
Why Is Ohio Not A No-Fault State?
Most states are comparative, either shared or pure. Ohio uses a shared or contributory comparative fault rule in that both parties could contribute to the fault.
No-fault states basically don’t hold the drivers accountable. Comparative fault allows insurance companies and individuals to assess responsibility. In that vein, drivers are urged to drive more safely.
For example, if it was raining and one driver panicked and hit their brakes, they would be partially at fault. However, the driver who came speeding past them and clipped the vehicle on the side is also partially at fault. Basically, if you are violating any traffic law, you could take partial liability. But getting a 2% fault isn’t terrible. With animal or weather accidents in Ohio, having a shared fault is fairly common.
What Happens In Car Accidents Involving Animals?
Essentially what happens is whoever or whichever driver is most at fault is the one who ends up paying. Or at least their insurance company is the one that takes the biggest hit. The result is that people will adamantly argue that they aren’t responsible. It doesn’t matter the driver was hoping to avoid an animal or hit a bad patch of ice. The driver that swerved or took action is probably the most at fault.
With animal accidents, it can be difficult to understand. Who would choose to put you and your family in jeopardy to avoid hitting an animal? Often the reaction is a knee-jerk response. It’s our immediate need to avoid danger, not knowing that it’s going to get worse because of avoiding that one thing.
Should You File A Claim When Weather Is To Blame?
When your car takes on any damage, you should file a claim. Although it might seem like your rates will go up or any other concerns, they’re not as important as your claim. The damage to your car and any injuries will require financial compensation. You need that compensation to feet back on your feet,
If it was a single-vehicle accident, then you can go through if you have collision insurance. But if you have liability, only insurance, then you have limited options. Liability only insurance will provide payouts if you are the victim. But there won’t pay directly to you in any other situation.
An Ohio Car Accident Lawyer Can Give More Insight
If you’re still not sure who exactly is at fault in the wreck, then you should call the law offices of Young, Reverman & Mazzei. Our Ohio personal injury law offices support the victims of crashes, even when it’s not always clear what happened in the wreck. Contacting our office will initiate the process of looking at all the evidence and determining how the insurance companies involved will evaluate the fault. In Ohio, it’s not an option to claim weather or animals as the at-fault party.
However, you can use those elements to show reasonable and unreasonable driver behavior. It’s not all on you to resolve this claim. Get help. Get support from Young, Reverman & Mazzei by calling our offices now.