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To protect your safety during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we offer telephone and video conferences, in place of face-to-face meetings. Please contact our office today to set up a remote consultation. For more information, read our blog post.

Ohio Legal Issues Blog

Hamilton County Courthouse Announces Update

On May 1, the Presiding and Administrative Judges of the Hamilton County Common Pleas and Hamilton County Municipal Court issued an administrative order regarding courthouse access. The order stated that access to the courthouse will be limited to those who are conducting or are necessary to critical court proceedings. Aside from county and court staff, only attorneys, witnesses, victims, the press, law enforcement, and no more than two immediate family members of litigants are permitted access to the court. Further, everyone seeking access to the courthouse or justice center will be subject to having their temperature checked and will be required to wear a face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times.

Will my future medical bills, wage loss and pain and suffering be covered in my personal injury claim?

The short answer is yes. By law, the at-fault person's insurance company owes you for all the damages you suffer as a result of an accident. Damages include things in the past, present and future. Future damages are more difficult to predict. The law requires that future damages are proven with reasonable certainty; specifically, future issues must be proven to be more likely than not.

Can I get treatment for my injuries during the current crisis?

The short answer is that it is still possible to get medical treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. Getting proper treatment takes persistence during these times and may not involve an in-person meeting with a physician, nurse, or physical therapist but treatment is still available.

Under What Circumstances Does Mixing Drugs or Alcohol With Sexual Conduct Become A Crime Under Ohio's Rape Statute?

Ohio's rape statute, 2907.02(A)(1)(c) says:

No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another who is not the spouse of the offender or who is the spouse of the offender but is living separate and apart from the offender, when any of the following applies:

The other person's ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age, and the offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the other person's ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age.

Why do some lawyers get higher injury settlements for their clients?

The short answer is because of past jury trial success. Insurance companies are world class data collectors and analyzers. Insurance carriers use complex algorithms to determine the cost of coverage premiums. They also use data and formulas to decide how much money to offer in injury and death cases. The amount they offer will be impacted by the lawyer representing the plaintiff.

Covid-19 Prison Update

The COVID-19 global pandemic has created unprecedented circumstances in our communities. As society continues to adjust to self-isolation and quarantine, we can only hope that life as we knew it returns to "normal" as soon as possible. While social distancing and isolation have become our new daily routine, it is something that is impossible for people incarcerated in Ohio's prisons and jails. While so many of us are concerned with keeping ourselves, our families, and our communities healthy, many Ohio inmates are being forgotten about. What was once a six-month or one-year sentence could now be a death sentence for some inmates.

Ohio BMV Closure and Driver License Issues During Covid-19

Since Governor DeWine's Order closing the majority of BMV locations one month ago, we have had a lot of questions related to driver license issues.

What if I need to renew my driver's license, CDL, or vehicle registration?

Thankfully, Governor DeWine signed a bill that protects people who have a driver's license or vehicle registration that expires during the coronavirus pandemic. The bill keeps licenses and registrations valid for an additional 90 days from the date the State of Emergency ends or until December 1, 2020 whichever is sooner. Meaning, you can drive even if your license or registration expired after the BMV offices closed. Your license and registration must be renewed within 90 days after the State of Emergency ends.

CAN YOU BE PULLED OVER FOR DRIVING SOMEONE ELSE'S VEHICLE?

Potentially, yes. If you do not have permission to be driving the vehicle, then you are committing a crime and can be arrested. However, a recent United States Supreme Court case held that even if you have permission to drive someone else's vehicle, it is possible that you could still be pulled over-even though you are not committing a crime.

Butler County Area Courts to Offer Fee Amnesty

If you owe court fees to Butler County Area 1 (Oxford), 2 (Hamilton), or 3 (West Chester) Court those courts are currently offering a fee amnesty program through May 22, 2020. Individuals owing fines in those three courts can have the remainder of those fees waived if they pay half the amount owed, plus $125 for court costs. 

SHOULD I MAKE A CLAIM WITH MY OWN AUTO INSURANCE COMPANY IF THE CAR ACCIDENT IS NOT MY FAULT?

The short answer is yes. Many people who have been in a car accident caused by another driver worry that their premiums will be raised if they open a claim with their own insurance company. But Ohio law (R.C. 3937.22) is clear that an insurance carrier may not increase rates if the accident is not their insured's fault.

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Rittgers & Rittgers, Attorneys at Law

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