Ohio Legislature Submits Budget with Equitable Subrogation Bill
The Ohio Legislature has recently submitted the budget to Governor Kasich for his approval. Included in the budget was an amendment to create a new law in Ohio that would require all subrogated parties to share in the fees and expenses incurred by injured victims when getting a recovery from a third party.
A subrogated party is someone who has an interest in an injured person’s claim by law or by contract. The most common example of a subrogated party is health insurance. Most private health insurance policies (i.e., contracts) provide that when an insured is injured in an accident due to the fault of another, the insurance company is entitled to be paid back from any recovery that the insured/injured party receives from a third party. Other types of health insurance, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Workers’ Compensation, also have subrogation rights by law.
Medicare, Medicaid, and Workers’ Compensation laws provide that when the injured person has to pay expenses and attorney fees to get a recovery, then the amount that has to be paid back is reduced proportionate to the percentage that the injured person had to pay in fees and expenses. The same is not true for most private health insurance. Most policies provide for priority recovery, meaning they get 100% of their lien even if the injured person had to pay fees and expenses to recover anything. And even worse, if there is not enough money from the at fault party to compensate the injured person, the insurance company can take the entire recovery, leaving the injured victim with nothing.
Under the new law that has been proposed in the budget, Ohio would join 44 other states in protecting injured victims by requiring that all subrogated parties (including private health insurance) would have to share in the fees and expenses that an injured party incurs in making a recovery. And if there are insufficient funds to compensate the injured party, the subrogated party would have to take an automatic reduction in its lien amount.
This is a very important law and a big win for injured victims in Ohio. Too often, injured victims are left with little to no recovery after paying back health insurance, who just sit on the sidelines and do nothing to assist in the recovery. This usually results in the injured victim resorting to public assistance programs to make ends meet, which is a burden to all Ohio taxpayers, even though it wasn’t the taxpayers’ responsibility to compensate the injured victim.
The attorneys at Lafferty Gallagher & Scott, LLC are big supporters of this law, and have fought hard for years with other plaintiffs’ attorneys throughout Ohio to get the fairness that injured victims deserve. There is still a lot of work to be done, and we will continue to fight hard to protect the rights and dignity of all Ohio injured victims.
The information contained in this blog post is general information, and should not be treated as legal advice. No attorney/client relationship exists between the reader and Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC without a signed Attorney Contract Agreement of Representation. Each case is unique and past results should not be treated as a guarantee of the results in your case.