The short answer is yes. The police report is not definitive and not always accurate. Furthermore, you can recover money for your injuries, even when you are partially at-fault for the crash.
Ohio and Kentucky have slightly different law when it comes to something called comparative fault. In Kentucky, a pure comparative state, the amount of damages owed to an injured party is reduced by the same percentage as the injured party’s fault in causing the crash. For example, if the injured party is 60% at fault for the crash and total damages are $1 million, the total damages are reduced by 60% and the total recovery will be $400,000. In Ohio, the same rule applies with one caveat – the injured party can only be 50% or less at fault or there will be no recovery. Meaning, if the at-fault party is deemed to be greater than 50% at-fault, the injured party is barred from recovering damages for injury. In the same example used above, an injured party in Ohio will not recover any damages if his fault is determined to be 60%.
If the police issue a traffic citation for a serious car accident but you believe you were not at-fault or not entirely at-fault for the crash, you should speak with a lawyer. Often the police only hear one side of the story because the injured person is transported to the hospital before giving a statement. It is also common to find surveillance video and other witnesses that show the police report is not accurate. If evidence shows the citation is unfair, we will fight it in court. The evidence we gather in the traffic case helps us prepare for the injury case.
It is critical to speak with a lawyer quickly if you have been improperly cited for a car crash and sustained serious injury. Paying the citation may be easy, but it could significantly diminish your ability to recover fair compensation in your injury case. At Rittgers & Rittgers, we have attorneys who can represent you for both matters. If you are unfairly cited for an accident and were injured, please call us for a free consultation.