OP-ED: Call Your State Senator and Leave Message to “VOTE NO ON SENATE BILL 2”

Protect Your Rights to Full Compensation for Injuries and C

 “Vote No on Senate Bill 2”

Your right to a trial by jury of your peers is under siege.

I encourage every citizen to contact their Kentucky State Senator and ask them to “Vote No on Senate Bill 2”.

Please do so quickly since there may be a vote this Monday, Feb. 12, 2018.

How:

Call toll free 1-800-372-7181; say you wish to leave a message for your Senator. To make sure the message gets to the right person, you will be asked your name, your address, and then your message.

The Message: “Vote No on Senate Bill 2”

When: Now.

What: Senate Bill 2 is an attempt to change the Constitution to our the state legislature to limit your right to full compensation for harms and losses you, a loved one, or a neighbor would be asking of a jury when injured by the carelessness of another. This includes wrongful death, car collisions, medical negligence, and legal negligence among other things.

The proposal would change our Kentucky Constitution to give the Legislature the right to set a cap for the maximum amount you could receive from a jury in your county. For example, if a parent is killed in a terrible collision, then the amounts that would go to the children could be limited by the state and not the jury regardless of the amount your children would otherwise be entitled to under the law as determined by a jury.

For example, if you were crippled and confined to your home and never work again, then the legislature could set a limit on your lost income in the future, your pain and suffering you have endured and will endure for the rest of your life, your future requirements for medical attention and rehabilitation. All of which you will need to get your life somewhat closer to what it was before you were harmed.

The real question is who do you trust better to do the right thing for you, your family and friends? People who live in the community or a group of representatives who have little accountability to you and who are subjected to enormous pressure and lobbying from those interested in capping the amount they would otherwise be obligated to pay. These would be the same people who caused and still cannot fix our pension crisis.

Why:

Your right to a jury trial is very, very important. It’s in our federal and state constitutions. Your local jury is the conscience or YOUR community. They are the ones who will hear the case, understand the injuries, and see costs you will require to compensate you. It is that simple.

More importantly, the jury system is not broken and is working fine and the change will not benefit you at all but rather will benefit those who have injured someone carelessly by allowing them to escape their responsibility and their financial obligation by paying less than you might otherwise be entitled.

Remember the law now is that you have a right to be made whole and be put as close to where you were before you were hurt. You may have pain, medical expenses, rehabilitation therapy, vocational training and more.

It is very important to know that these potential caps will hurt those who will need it more and is exorbitantly unfair.

The caps should not affect minor cases or injury recoveries. But, they would hurt those who have lost a family member or have received devastating and crippling injuries since the wrongdoer and their insurance would get a free pass and put the money in their own pockets.

I am not saying the legislature would intentionally hurt you by placing caps, but the potential for harm by those in Frankfort is too great for me to want them having any more control over my life at a time when I needed help the most.

Remember if you do not get the full amount you are entitled to, then you will need to look somewhere for help. Family and friends; government aid; or charity. This is demeaning and not fair to you or your family. And requiring other taxpayers and charities to pick up a tab for the negligent harm caused by another is also terribly wrong.

Trust me, there are already plenty enough cases and injuries out there where the wrongdoer has no money or insurance to make it right. We really should not be adding the problem to allow folks a free ride on their wrongdoing.

Here is a link to the law:

“Are you in favor of permitting the General Assembly to: (1) Place limits on the amount to be recovered for injuries resulting in death; (2) Place limits on the amount to be recovered for injuries to person or property; and (3) Create statutes of limitations or statutes of repose as to how long after the incident a law suit may be commenced?”

If the state can make such a mess of government pensions and other matters then who would want them deciding what you will need as determined by a jury who will have heard the evidence, heard from you and heard from the doctors

Trust a jury to do the right thing is what I want. The jury is in the absolute best position to know.

This is not the wild wild west. In a jury trial, there is much investigation. At trial there will be a judge making everyone follow the law with the wrongdoer represented by a lawyer who will fight tooth and nail to see that his client pays as little as possible. And the jurors will take an oath to follow the law.

VOTE NO ON SENATE BILL 2.