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Michigan No Fault Lawyer Practice Tip – Maximizing Medical Mileage Reimbursement Claims

January 24, 2008 by Steven M. Gursten

Don’t let your insurance company shortchange you on medical mileage reimbursement after a car accident.

Medical mileage reimbursement is an important insurance benefit that is provided under the Michigan No Fault Act. It is available to anyone injured in an automobile accident in Michigan, provided there is no fault insurance coverage for the car or truck involved in the motor vehicle accident. Pedestrians hit by motor vehicles are also covered. With gasoline prices now so expensive, doctor visits and physical therapy appointments frequently can result in thousands of dollars in mileage. And insurance companies in Michigan are not reimbursing many of these claims at a fair rate.

The problem is that there is no “fixed” or set rate for what mileage reimbursement should be when you are seeking reimbursement from your own no fault insurance company. An insurance company is only required to reimburse you at a “reasonable rate”for each mile under Michigan law.

To determine reasonableness, a lawyer can present evidence of what other companies and organizations reimburse their own employees. An important recent change in the Internal Revenue Service that just took effect in 2008, for example, now increases the standard mileage rate that individuals and business can now deduct to 50.5 cents a mile starting in January, 2008. Many insurance companies in Michigan, such as AAA, State Farm, and Allstate pay half of this amount to reimburse claims for medical mileage.

Certainly, a lawyer representing a client injured in a motor vehicle accident can and should use the new 2008 IRS mileage guideline to argue for a higher “reasonable rate” than what many of these insurance companies are currently willing to voluntarily pay. The difference can add up to hundreds or even thousands of additional dollars for people injured in serious car accidents throughout Michigan.

As long as the medical appointment is related to a personal injury that you have suffered in an automobile accident, as versus a pre-existing condition or an unrelated medical issue such as a cold or flu, the claim for mileage reimbursement can be submitted to your no fault insurance company. Remember, claims should be submitted to your own insurance company every thirty days, but must be submitted no later than one year from the date of the medical appointment or it will be time-barred and the insurance company can and will refuse to pay the claim.

For a short video overview and tips about Michigan Medical Mileage Reimbursement and other No Fault Benefits, visit our Video Library.

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