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Steve Lombardi, Attorney

In Champaign County, Ohio, a woman was standing by her mailbox on Wolcott Road, near St. Paris, when a runaway trailer struck the 46 year old woman sending her to Miami Valley Hospital in critical condition, according to the Dayton Daily online news source.

Paula Lowry was hit Wednesday, September 23rd around 6pm. The flat bed trailer was being pulled by an eastbound car driven by Kevin Fisher, age 35 from Tipp City. Fisher was not hurt. Investigation is underway to determine the cause of the trailer coming loose.

We've covered trailer safety before on October 16, 2009.  Trailer towing safety chains are not optional | Lombardi Law Firm. But today I want to cover this accident for a different reason.

Ohio is a miserable state to get in a car accident.

Presently I have a client who died in Ohio from getting t-boned at an intersection collision; she died. The financial minimum limit one has to carry for car accidents in Ohio is a paltry $12,500.00 per person. Can you believe that? You can kill a person and only have to pay the dead person's estate or her parents $12,500.

And here is an aspect of this case that makes it even worse. USAA claims the $12,500 underinsurance coverage on the client's auto policy isn't owed to her parents. They claim to have a provision in the policy that gives them a credit against anything paid. So take the $12,500 being paid by the other driver's auto liability carrier and it isn't more than the $12,500 UDM coverage she had, so they say we owe you nothing.

Ohio State Minimum Coverage Requirements for Automobile Insurance

Say what USAA? That an interesting position to say the least. It's interesting because USAA sold her insurance she could never collect. Here follow the logic. If in Ohio the minimum limits are mandatory then any insured driver will have $12,500 in coverage. If they don't have insurance then they are uninsured and not underinsured. So any underinsured driver has to have at the very least the same amount of the UDM coverage; meaning the credit wipes it out. Wow selling insurance you can't collect on.  You'd think Ohio's Department of Insurance would have figured this one out. Makes me wonder how much the Ohio politicians received by way of campaign contributions to pass this law. Gee Mary Jo Hudson what are you directing in Ohio?


There are parts to tort reform that I will never understand. And this is one. Wake up folks the insurance industry in this country is robbing you blind. This quote is from the Ohio Department of Insurance website.

How would we fix the Ohio minimum limits?

Before you can fix the minimum limits requirement the legislators in Ohio need to understand the answer to the first question Ohio's insurance director posed.

What is Financial Responsibility?
In Ohio, it is illegal to drive any motor vehicle without insurance or other proof of financial responsibility (FR). It is also illegal for any motor vehicle owner to allow anyone else to drive the owner's vehicle without FR proof. To comply with the FR requirements, individuals must maintain insurance or get a bond. Both types of coverage are described below.

If I obtain insurance, what is required?

Ohio law requires the following for insurance coverage:

If a person purchases automobile insurance, the state requires the person to purchase Bodily Injury Liability Coverage as well as Property Damage Liability Coverage.

A motor vehicle liability insurance policy. Insurance cards are issued by an insurer to the policyholder for each motor vehicle insured under a motor vehicle liability insurance policy;

A certificate of proof of financial responsibility on a form prescribed by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

That's enough for today, but come back tomorrow to read The Verdict blog/blawg at Lombardi Law Firm where we will discuss other car-truck-semi-motorcycle accidents in Iowa. And as always if you are in an accident and need legal services we encourage you to call us sooner, rather than later.


Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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