I just received a question in response to a blog I wrote about new attendant care rates for family members in Michigan. Our reader, Tiffany, asks, “Is there a web site where I can look up the current hourly rates for at-home attendant care?”
Here’s my response:
Thank you for your question, Tiffany. Many people have never even heard of attendant care, which is an important No-Fault insurance benefit that is available to people who have been seriously injured in a car accident or truck accident. Our lawyers explain what attendant care is by how it sounds. Attendant care (also referred to as nursing care services) refers to activities of daily living that you are unable to perform yourself due to the severity of your personal injuries. Therefore, you require the help of someone else (the attendant) to provide the care.
Attendant care can be a lot of things. For instance, it can include safety monitoring and supervision for someone with a serious traumatic brain injury, administering medication, assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, help using the bathroom, driving, carrying and lifting things, and wound care. Attendant care can be performed by nurses, but can be performed just as well by family members or legal guardians who perform nursing care services. And family members or legal guardians who perform the attendant care services are entitled to compensation.
The rationale is that if there was no family member available, the auto insurance company under the Michigan No-Fault law would be required to pay a professional or nurse to come into the home to provide attendant care. But just because there is a spouse or family member – who often puts their own life or job on hold to take care of a loved one – doesn’t allow the insurance company a windfall savings.
My answer to your question, Tiffany, is that there is no set statutory rate for attendant care. There is no web site, because each case is different. The rate of attendant care depends on a number of things. For example, the average wages in a particular geographical area, such as a heavily rural area vs. a large city like Detroit or Grand Rapids. It also depends on the qualifications of the individual performing the attendant care services (i.e. home care attendant from a service, nurse, family member, etc.). A service will normally bill at a higher rate than an individual, but an individual may be entitled to a commercial agency rate because of benefits such as overtime, vacation or insurance that an individual does not receive.
To get a better idea of an appropriate rate, you should speak with an experienced attendant care lawyer.
I would recommend you always at least talk with an attendant care lawyer before just accepting a voluntary insurance company rate for attendant care. Often, these rates are far lower than the rate they should be paying. Also, make sure to read why insurance adjusters can legally lie to you about attendant care.
Our attendant care lawyers are happy to speak with you about any questions you have regarding your No- Fault rights such as attendant care, or how to protect those rights if you’ve been injured in an auto accident. You can call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation – anytime.
– Steve Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top attorneys handling serious car and truck accident injury cases and auto insurance No-Fault litigation. Michigan Auto Law has received the largest reported jury verdict for an automobile accident case in Michigan in seven of the past 10 years, according to published reports.
Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you.