Steve is quoted on “independent” medical examiners (IMEs) making vast amounts while finding “nothing wrong” with seriously injured accident victims, and the auto insurance companies’ push for No-Fault “reform”
Last week, I was quoted in an in-depth story in DBusiness magazine on insurance fraud and abuse in Michigan. The story delves into the insurance company abuse that I write about so often in this blog as a Michigan accident lawyer.
Here’s the DBusiness story: “Delay, deny defend.”
The story posed the question, do Michigan auto insurance companies put profits ahead of injured policy holders by aggressively challenging car accident claims in court? Are they denying legitimate claims and saving millions of dollars in claims that should be paid every year?
The accident victims, Michigan accident lawyers, and insurance advocacy experts in the story all said yes. This is exactly the type of abuse I’ve been speaking out about for years. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the “Delay, deny, defend” insurance company tactic, I explain it as the 3 D’s, or the way many auto insurance companies treat people after they’ve been seriously injured in a car crash: Insurance companies will delay your claim, deny you were hurt and defend aggressively in court.
Dan Calbrese, the reporter for the story, wrote about the Dairyland insurance company blog of mine, where Dairyland sends a release of No-Fault benefits within a week of the accident to its own policyholders. He also discussed Michigan’s excessive insurance company profits and the Angoff study. And he highlighted the fraud of how insurance companies and insurance company lawyers use “independent” medical examiners to deny accident victims necessary care and insurance benefits.
As I said in the story, “The public would be shocked if they knew of the industry that exists in Michigan, of doctors who make enormous amounts of money cutting people off left and right. A lot of these doctors don’t practice anymore. They don’t treat people anymore. And they’re making vast amounts of money doing 15-minute examinations and then writing reports saying people don’t need benefits.”
Proposed No-Fault “reform” legislation a boondoggle for Michigan’s auto insurance companies
I also told DBusiness readers, the proposed No-Fault “reform” laws are ridiculous, and the only benefit is to put more money in the pockets of the profitable insurance companies: “the auto insurance industry in Michigan stands to pay out between $91 million and $109 million less in claims each year” should this legislation pass.”
To wrap the story up, I said that it’s still better now to be injured in Michigan because of the medical care our current No-Fault system allows: “… yes, there are tons of games, and (some) people are treated terribly by insurance companies. But that still doesn’t mean the alternative — which is not having No-Fault, or being in a state like Florida, where because No-Fault doesn’t exist, people get pushed to Medicaid and receive terrible medical treatment — would be better.”
– Steve Gursten is one of the nation’s top accident lawyers handling auto accident lawsuits. He is head of Michigan Auto Law and president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association. Steve has received the highest verdict in the state for a car accident or truck accident victim in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
Related information to protect yourselves:
Why insurance company IMEs are no laughing matter
FAQs: How does the Michigan No-Fault law apply to my car accident?
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 Michigan accident lawyers.