Those who disagree with me often accuse me of bias. Perhaps this is true. After all, I help the people who depend on No Fault. For nearly 20 years, I’ve seen firsthand the consequences of what happens to people and their families after serious automobile accidents. And as President of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association for the last two years, I’ve traveled around the nation educating lawyers who handle car accident litigation; so I’ve been able to compare Michigan to many other states.
It’s a fair question. What’s so bad about capping No Fault PIP? And as an insurance lawyer, it’s a question I hear often.
A recent question on Michigan Auto Law’s Facebook page reminded me that I’ve never answered this question on this blog. Essentially, the question was what’s so wrong about capping No Fault PIP and medical benefits at $10,000 or $50,000 in this state.
The saying is: “You get what you pay for.”
With respect to the “Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Pilot Program” proposed by House Speaker Jase Bolger and the House Republicans in their latest No Fault “reform” draft plan called Substitute for HB 4612, it’s probable that folks who buy into the low cost pilot program will not even be that lucky.
Here’s why (the page numbers below refer to the full, 91-page draft bill):
House Speaker Jase Bolger’s “Substitute for HB 4612″ will make litigation even more difficult for car accident victims when they must hire a lawyer to challenge wrongful denials and/or illegal cut-offs of No Fault PIP insurance benefits.
Bolger’s plan has many new and devastating restrictions on the legal rights of injured crash victims to seek No Fault insurance benefits when an insurance company refuses to pay valid claims or wrongfully cuts people off from medical care, wage loss and attendant care.
As I wrote yesterday, the ideas put forth under Speaker Bolger’s Substitute for HB 4612 will make it harder for crash victims to recover PIP benefits they desperately need. And it will make it easier for insurers to deny a legitimate claim.
The last thing injured auto accident victims need today is a harder time attempting to recover the No Fault insurance benefits, such as medical expense reimbursement and vehicle modifications, that they’re entitled.
As I’ve written before, Michigan is a state without bad faith insurance laws, punitive damages, or even a Consumer Protection Act that can protect consumers from insurance companies who deliberately cause harm by wrongfully withholding vital insurance benefits.
House Speaker Jase Bolger is proposing a new No Fault insurance “reform” draft plan called “Substitute for HB 4612.” As I wrote in a previous post, drivers stand a lose a heck of a lot, while the insurance industry will be laughing all the way to the bank.
Below are the new, completely unprecedented, and permanent caps and limitations on the PIP (personal injury protection) insurance benefits and other legal protections currently provided by Michigan’s No Fault law. These new caps will devastate auto accident victims.
Today I had the pleasure of supporting and listening to Southeast Michigan’s three county executives. All three sent a unified message to Lansing lawmakers and to the public as to where they stand with proposed changes to Michigan’s No Fault laws, issuing a resounding “NO” to efforts to dismantle its important legal protections.
I thought my running dialogue with Speaker Bolger last week might make for some interesting – and very insightful – reading.
First, by way of background, last week House Speaker Jase Bolger posted an editorial in The Detroit News regarding his proposed No Fault insurance “reform” plan.
I’ve been an outspoken critic, and I have said there are many problems with Bolger’s No Fault plan. The biggest problem in my eyes is that consumers will lose far more than they would gain , while the auto insurance companies will be laughing all the way to the bank.
There is very little that I would probably ever agree on with former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Clifford W. Taylor. To the public, he is best known as the “sleeping Judge.” But to the state’s lawyers and judges, he’s associated with a darker side.