COLUMBUS— State Rep. Catherine D. Ingram (D-Cincinnati) has introduced the Accident Victim Privacy Protection Act, legislation to prohibit the sale of personal information obtained from accident reports to prevent businesses from soliciting accident victims for profit.
“Vehicular accident reports contain significant amounts of personal information, and victims should not be subject to harassment after a car accident,” said Ingram. “The Accident Victim Privacy Protection Act will help prevent ‘ambulance chasers’ from purchasing this information, protecting victims’ identities and putting a stop to repeated calls and emails from companies trying to make an extra buck.”
Ohio law makes accident reports available to the public almost immediately through either the Ohio Department of Public Safety or local law enforcement agencies. The information in these reports is often found by independent vendors and then sold to businesses that solicit accident victims for medical attention or lawsuit filings.
The Accident Victim Privacy Protection Act would allow accident victims to report solicitation and other harassment to the Ohio Attorney General’s office, which would then investigate the soliciting business.
The bill now awaits committee assignment for further consideration.