Accidents Resulting from Stop Sign Traffic Violations May be Compensable in Columbus

On March 27, 2015, an accident occurred at the corner of Ohio 231 and Township Road 43 in Wyandot County when a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Ernest J. Tynor collided with a Chevrolet Camero driven by Tyler S. Friel. Mr. Tynor had two passengers in his vehicle as well: James E. Jones and Patricia A. Teynor. Both drivers and passengers were initially taken by Sycamore EMS to Wyandot Memorial Hospital in Upper Sandusky. James E. Jones was subsequently taken to The Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus where died from his injuries the following Monday.

The Telegraph-Forum reported that Mr. Friel was driving eastbound on Township Road 43 and apparently failed to observe the stop sign at Ohio 231. He pulled out into the path of Mr. Teynor’s vehicle, which was driving northbound on Ohio 231. The passenger’s death may be compensable (see legal commentary below).

Source: Telegraph-Forum

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Legal Analysis on Stop Sign Violations in Ohio

You may be wondering if you can recover for injuries sustained in an accident in which a driver ran a stop sign or came out into traffic. The law is pretty clear. Under the legal doctrine of Negligence per se, a Court will, under many circumstances, consider an action negligent if the violation of a traffic statute caused the injuries. In this instance, the driver’s failure to stop at a stop sign may have been a violation of Ohio Revised Code 4511.43. There are two common reasons that an insurance company may try to deny your stop sign violation claim in Ohio.

The first reason is a legal excuse. In Smiddy ADMR v. The Wedding Party, Inc. et al., 30 Ohio St. 3d 35 (citing Bush v. Harvey Transfer Co., 146 Ohio St. 657), the Supreme Court of Ohio has stated that a legal excuse “must be something which makes it impossible to comply with the safety legislative enactment, something over which the driver has no control, an emergency not of the driver’s making causing failure to obey the statute, or an excuse or exception specifically provided in the enactment itself.”

A second common defense to Negligence per se that may apply to the driver is contributory negligence. This occurs when they believe that the injured person contributed to the cause of his or her injuries. An example from the above accident might be if the other driver were speeding. This defense may or may not interfere with your right of recovery depending on the specific facts around your injury.

Legal Commentary on the Above Accident

There is not enough information in the article to definitively know whether Mr. Friel is responsible for the accident, but it appears likely from the information given that he was negligent per se. It is likely that Ernest Tynor, James Jones, and Patricia Teynor would all be able to recover for their injuries, and Mr. Jones’ estate would additionally be entitled to compensation based on a claim for wrongful death.

About the Author

Alex Freitag is an Ohio personal injury lawyer. He offers a free consultation. To get his help call (614) 438-2672 or 1-800-447-6548. Find out what it feels like to get help from a lawyer that cares.

Alex Freitag
Anthony Castelli Attorney
100 E. Campus View Boulevard, Suite #250
Columbus, Ohio, 43235
(614) 438-2672