Injuries to Out-Of-State Residents in Auto Accidents May Be Compensable in Ohio

On May 6, 2015, an SUV driving on eastbound US 36 was rear-ended by a semi-truck. The force of the collision forced the SUV into the westbound lanes, where it was struck by another truck. The driver of the SUV, Teresa Ann Johnson, and her passenger, Jody L. Stewart of Bay City, Michigan, were both flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton in serious condition. The highway was shut down for several hours from the accident.

WHIO is reporting that the accident remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office. The passengers’ injuries may be compensable in Ohio (see legal commentary below).

Source: WHIO

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Legal Analysis on Injuries to Out-Of-State Passengers in Ohio

You may be wondering if you can recover for injuries sustained in an accident that occurred in Ohio as a resident of another state. The law is clear that under most circumstances, it is the crash site that is important.

Ohio is not a no-fault state, meaning that if someone is injured in Ohio, they can seek recovery from the insurance company insuring the person who caused them injuries. This can sometimes cause confusion with insurance companies when the accident involves drivers from other states. Some states have what is called no-fault insurance, in which an injured driver will seek compensation from his or her own insurance company under most circumstances. The determination as to which will apply is determined by where the accident took place. For instance, in Kurent v. Farmers Insurance Company, 62 Ohio St.3d 242,

an Ohio driver was injured in Michigan, a no-fault state. The Ohio Supreme Court held “when an Ohio resident is injured in an automobile accident in a no-fault insurance state, by a resident of that state who is insured under that state’s no-fault insurance laws, the Ohio resident’s legal right to recover from the tortfeasor-motorist must be determined with reference to the no-fault state’s laws.”

Legal Commentary on the Above Accident

The above situation is quite confusing. There was an accident that involved a truck driver from Springfield, Ohio (Clark County), a truck driver from Union City, Indiana, (Randolph County), a driver from Greenville, Ohio (Darke County), and a passenger from Bay City, Michigan (Bay County). The accident occurred in Gettysburg, Ohio (Darke County). The occupants of the SUV were taken to a hospital in Dayton, Ohio (Montgomery County).

So what law applies? Ultimately, it usually comes down to where the accident occurred. In this case, the accident took place in Darke County, Ohio, so Ohio law would apply. If the people injured in this accident were to seek an attorney, they should call an attorney licensed in Ohio.

About the Author

Alex Freitag is an Ohio personal injury lawyer. He offers a free consultation. To get his help call 937-306-6410 or 1-800-447-6548. Find out what it feels like to get help from a lawyer that cares.

Alex Freitag
Anthony Castelli Attorney
70 Birch Alley, Suite 240, Building B,
Beavercreek, Ohio, 45440