Many new laws took effect on January 1, 2020, which could affect how personal injury and criminal defense cases move forward. We wanted to review a few of those changes today, so you could be informed about what the new laws say.

Changes regarding handgun permits

A new permit option has been added called a “concealed only” gun permit. This permit gives holders of the permit the right to carry a weapon that is concealed. Applicants will need to take a hands-on class and there will be some background checks. The concealed gun permit will complement another permit called “an enhanced gun permit.” This latter permit grants the right to open-carry or concealed carry a handgun.

Changes to healthcare

  • Opioid abuse. Opioid prescriptions must now be issued by a physician using an electronic prescription. Doctors must comply by January 1, 2021.
  • Health insurance costs. There are new laws expanding health insurance rights so that buyers have a better understanding of how much services cost before they begin treatment. Some of the treatments that must be itemized include X-Rays, MRIs, and physical therapy.
  • Proton therapy coverage. Another law provides that state insurance for state employees will now cover proton therapy, a type of cancer treatment. It is used for cancers of the neck, breast, lung, and brain.

Changes regarding nursing home and care of the elderly

Prosecutors will now be able to charge “someone with felony murder if a person dies as the result of aggravated neglect of an elderly person.” Seniors have the right to be free from any type of physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. This right applies to residents of nursing homes and to anyone who provides in-home health care.

If physical abuse results in death, the abuser (and possibly the nursing home) may be held liable for the wrongful death of the patient. Often a violation of a law is helpful in a civil case because the police and prosecution take an active role in showing the wrong occurred. The evidence in criminal cases can often be used to help the civil personal injury case.

If you have been charged with a crime, or are in need of experienced legal counsel regarding a civil claim, Delius & McKenzie, PLLC can help. We’ve been fighting to uphold the rights of our clients for more than 20 years. To schedule a consultation with an attorney, please call (865) 428-8780 or complete our contact form to discuss your case. We represent victims and families in Sevierville, Seymour, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the surrounding Tennessee locations.