Beginning in early 2000, there has been a complete erosion of victim and consumer rights by both the Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio Supreme Court. This is the result of the powerful interests of ‘Big Business’ stepping all over the ‘little guy’.
For example, the consumer pays for health insurance either through his/her job or privately. When involved in an accident, he uses this insurance to pay for the medical bills incurred as a result of the injuries sustained. The health insurance company then asks for reimbursement from the injured victim from his settlement with the auto insurance carrier for the medical bills paid.
Prior law held that unless the injured party was “made whole” from the settlement, the health insurer was not entitled to reimbursement in full. The logic is simple: if the injured victim does not receive full compensation from the settlement, the health insurer also should not. For example, let us assume the injured victim had a $50,000 hospital bill due to his accident, and the party at fault had only $12,500 in liability insurance, the state minimum amount required. Prior law would limit the ability of the health inurer to recoup by way of subrogation the amount it gets paid out of the settlement because the victim was not ‘made whole’ by the settlement.
The Ohio Supreme Court case of N. Buckeye Educ. Council Group Health Benefits Plan v. Lawson (2004), 103 Ohio St. 3d 188, held that the insurance companies could put language in their policies to eliminate the make-whole doctrine. This allows the health insurance company to recover all of the $12,500 liability insurance in our example above, and the victim gets nothing. No compensation for medical bills not covered by insurance, no compensation for lost wages, no compensation at all.
Please visit our website for more information as to how the law firm of Law Offices Of Mitchell Alter, LLC fight for the ‘little guy’s’ rights.