Auto accident victim’s compelling letter to the editor debunks all of the insurance industry’s myths about Michigan No-Fault
A recent letter to the editor in The Antrim Review confirmed precisely why Michigan’s No-Fault system should be preserved rather than dismantled, as the auto insurance industry would like everyone to believe.
According to Michigan’s auto insurance industry and certain lawmakers who have fallen under the powerful sway of the insurance industry’s lobbyists, Michigan’s No-Fault system can be improved by cutting people’s No-Fault insurance benefits, especially medical benefits. You don’t have to be an insurance lawyer, like myself to see how this hurts those who need these protections the most.
Nevertheless, the anti-No-Fault group is motivated by a powerful force: money. The insurance industry and certain legislators insist that cutting No-Fault medical benefits is no big deal because Michigan drivers do not actually use them.
Oh, how wrong they are! As a lawyer, I represent and have represented quite a few people who depend on these No-Fault benefits and attendant care provided services, but I think Christine O’Connell of Rapid City says it better.
Here’s what she told The Antrim Review in her July 28, 2011, letter to the editor:
“To the Editor:
It has been my experience that Michigan has the best “no fault” auto insurance policy in the USA.
I used to think that accidents happen to other people. In 1997, my husband was killed in an auto accident. I was left with three young children, was a stay at home mom, I had no income what so ever. The insurance covered his wages for the next three years and the things that my husband would have done, such as mow yard, fix car, etc.
Four months after my husband’s accident, my grandmother took two of my children to the Ionia Free Fair, and on their way home, a volunteer fire fighter (had narcolepsy) fell asleep while driving, crossed the center line while cresting the hill and hit my grandma and kids head on at 65 miles an hour. Grandma was killed instantly, but my son was rushed to Sparrow in ambulance and daughter was air-flighted to Butterworth.
My daughter sustained a closed head injury and was in a coma for four months [plus]. She was hospitalized for 30 days and then went for rehab for three months. The helicopter ride alone cost 20K+. My daughter had complete shearing of her brain and had to relearn everything, walk, talk, eat, with extensive tone and other disabilities as well.
She is still in therapy today, but is doing amazing. She just graduated from Elk Rapids High School, is looking to going on to college and starting her own doggie day care facility. Without no fault auto (as written), I do not know where my daughter would be right now, or my family.
It is very important that we all contact our representatives and have a voice on this matter, as this is being rushed through to be voted on as early as September or October.
I no longer believe that stuff just happens to other people, cuz it happened 10 fold in one year to me, and I see it every day and thank God for Michigan no-fault insurance. It is worth every penny!”
My heart goes out to Ms. O’Connell and her family.
Their story — and Ms. O’Connell’s willingness to share it — is a testament to the importance and value of Michigan’s No Fault system and its ability to help Michigan auto accident victims rebuild their lives after tragedy has struck.
– Steven Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top insurance attorneys handling serious auto accident cases and no-fault insurance litigation. He writes about the importance of Michigan’s no-fault law, and is available for comment.
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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. Call (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our No-Fault insurance lawyers.