Now that the election season has come and gone, many Ohioans are breathing a sigh of relief. We spent several months in the eye of the political storm, and we finally have our airwaves back.
However, just because the elections are over does not mean that our attention should be diverted from those who ran for and now hold elected office. As a member of the voting public in Ohio, it is important to monitor how these individuals vote, rule and legislate on issues impacting medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and personal injury.
Several issues that could affect your rights if you are injured are likely to come about in the next few months. Among them:
- Emergency room physician immunity: Special interest groups are pushing to make all acts of negligence by emergency room physicians immune from lawsuits. The end result will be an overall decline in the quality of care provided to Ohioans who need emergency care. Additionally, victims of medical malpractice, such as babies born with birth injuries, love ones lost and individuals dismissed without a proper diagnosis, will be left without recourse. When the negligent party is insulated with immunity, the care of these individuals becomes the responsibility of the taxpayers.
- Workers’ compensation reform: Every few years, there is a push to further reform workers’ compensation in Ohio. What was once a system designed to protect injured workers in Ohio has quickly become a system that starves families. Over the last 15 years, there have been several successful attempts to gut the laws that protect injured Ohio workers. The latest rumors indicate the next step will be to refuse to allow an injured worker to select their own physician without penalty. The ultimate goal is to control what diagnosis is given and release an injured worker back to work, despite it not being safe or appropriate.
- Change in minimum insurance coverage: Ohio has not updated the permissible minimums for auto insurance in decades. As a result, Ohio is one of only three states in the country that permits drivers to be on the road with only $12,500 in coverage. Simply put, this rarely covers the damages when that driver causes an accident. It is our sincere hope that within the next year this minimum is raised to no less than $25,000. While we will still be behind much of the country, it is a start.
The attorneys at Plevin & Gallucci will continue to monitor the legal landscape in Ohio and work on a daily basis to impact the laws affecting the rights of Ohioans. Please share this blog to encourage other Ohioans to be aware.