Georgia ride-along insurance and hospital assault laws go into effect July 1

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On Saturday, July 1, two Georgia laws go into effect that will affect rideshare operator insurance and potentially worker’s compensation claims by hospital workers.

House Bill 529 will lower the minimum insurance coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers who must maintain ridesharing services. The previous law required coverage of at least $1 million. The new law provides a minimum fine of $300,000 for personal injury or death to anyone in an accident. Also, a maximum of $100,000 is required for death or personal injury and $25,000 for damage in an accident.

House Bill 383, known as the Safer Hospitals Act, increases penalties for assaults on healthcare workers in the workplace. According to the law, anyone convicted of assault could face from three to 20 years in prison. The law is similar to a law passed by Florida lawmakers this year, but the Georgia law has much harsher penalties.

The Georgia measure also allows hospitals to set up their own police forces, known as “peace officers.”

Assaults and threats against health workers have increased in recent years, as have injuries to victims. The rate of violent attacks against healthcare workers increased 63% from 2011 to 2018, and 73% of all nonfatal workplace injuries from violence are attributed to healthcare workers, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to Intuit, nurses account for the largest portion of workers’ compensation claims in the United States, nearly 15% of all claims.

And the number of attacks may be underreported, at least one study suggests.

In Jacksonville, Fla., just over the Georgia border, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration this month fined a behavioral hospital for what the agency called “shocking” levels of violence against nurses and other workers.

Georgia Sharing Economy

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