Lawmaker: People are entitled to recovery period
A bipartisan package of three bills was introduced today protecting victims recovering from personal injury accidents from overaggressive solicitation by lawyers, medical clinics and victim advocacy groups.
House Bills 4770-4772 provide a 30-day waiting period for accident victims before their police accident reports are made public and before someone can solicit them as a direct result of the accident.
“I have heard stories from residents of the 51st House District who were injured in an accident on a Friday and by the following week their mailbox was filled with offers from advocacy groups, attorneys and medical professionals offering their service as a direct result of the accident,” said state Rep. Joe Graves, sponsor of one of the bills. “The first concern of accident victims and their families should be recovery from injuries, and a flood of mail, phone calls or someone knocking at your door adds stress and confusion that should not be a concern following a personal injury accident.”
HB 4770 establishes a 30-day waiting period for police accident reports to become public record, and HB 4771, sponsored by Graves, establishes a 30-day ban on soliciting for legal or medical representation. HB 4772, sponsored by state Rep. Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant, establishes new sentencing guidelines for those who violate the new standards.
Graves said his main concern is protecting the privacy of residents and has been working closely with the Negligence Section of the State Bar of Michigan to address the problems with this small, unethical segment of certain professions.
“Immediate, overaggressive solicitation is considered by many as unethical, and this is a step toward protecting Michigan’s hard-working taxpayers,” Graves said. “This 30-day waiting period will provide personal injury victims time to take care of their situation without being pressured by an overly forceful sales pitch.”
The bills were referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.