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New law halts solicitations after accidents in Ohio

A new Ohio law that limits phone solicitations of people who have been in a car accident has survived a challenge before a federal magistrate.

The provision, which is already in effect, requires chiropractors and other medical providers to wait 30 days before they contact someone who has been involved in a car accident by phone, text, email or other electronic means. Many chiropractors and referral companies comb the area's accident reports on a daily basis and use the information to solicit new business among the injured.

Now, the only way that someone can be contacted with that kind of targeted marketing effort after an accident is via regular mail -- at least for the first month. The new law also makes it harder for companies to collect the electronic contact information and telephone numbers from public records by allowing them to be redacted. Companies and providers who violate the rule will be fined and could face a license suspension.

Several chiropractic companies and a referral company sued to block the law, but a judge denied the request. Not only does the law disrupt their business model, but they also allege that it could cause people to delay seeking appropriate care for their injuries.

There's definitely merit to their argument since many accident victims don't immediately realize that they're injured. Soft tissue injuries and injuries in the neck and back may not start hurting for days or weeks after the actual crash. Encouraging the victims of car accidents to have a medical evaluation and early treatment is important to their well-being.

The new law means that the victims of car accidents will have to be proactive about seeking treatment. Further, victims should always learn as much as they can about their legal right to compensation after a crash.

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