Fox 2 Detroit and WXYZ Detroit report car accident attorney’s pros and cons of repealing No Fault; differences between No Fault and Pure Tort Insurance System
Over the past week, the prospect of Michigan repealing its No Fault auto insurance law and replacing it with a pure tort liability system has been in the headlines.
I’ve been interviewed by several media outlets about this possibility, largely because I’m familiar with both insurance systems. I’ve worked in Michigan under its No Fault insurance system as an auto accident lawyer for the past 25 years. I also handle very serious motor vehicle crashes, mostly involving truck accidents, in other pure tort states. This has given me a unique perspective to see firsthand the benefits and disadvantages of both No Fault and pure tort insurance states.
One of the overarching themes I’ve emphasized is that No Fault in Michigan has been under relentless political attack. Those who believe in auto No Fault, and I count myself as a supporter, have watched as our auto No Fault law is systematically gutted and abused by the courts and politicians. For car accident lawyers like myself, the worry is that our insurance law in Michigan is year by year being diminished to the point of soon being meaningless and useless for the people who need it the most:
“Michigan No Fault has been under continuous attack for years. It continues each year to be gutted and abused by clearly partisan judges and courts. It is under relentless attack by insurance-industry-backed politicians and judges … We can’t stick our heads in the sand and be blind to what is coming. Consider what would have happened if the Duggan-Leonard-Theis $25,000 PIP cap had become law in November… Consider the effect of devastating No Fault cases like Bahri, Douglas, Covenant, Admire, Frazier, Joseph, Krohn, Moore, Burris, and so many others that are destroying No Fault in this state. These are all examples of partisan, judge-made legislating from the bench. Compare No Fault today to ten years ago or five years ago: No Fault protections keep getting scaled back, gutted and abused by our courts. This is going to keep getting worse for the people I represent.”
In addition to blogging and talking with readers on Facebook and Twitter, I’ve also had the privilege of talking to two TV news organizations that are covering this important issue that affects Michigan’s 8 million drivers.
Here’s a snapshot of what I talked about with:
- WXYZ Detroit’s Syma Chowdhry: “Michigan has the best, clearly, indisputably the best insurance system in the nation, but it’s also the most expensive … You’ve got people that just say ‘I can’t afford it.’ Half of Detroit is driving without auto insurance. It’s costing the state in so many other ways.” Yet, “God forbid you’re in a terrible, terrible car wreck and suffer a catastrophic injury. The quality of medical care you are going to receive and your access to care is going to be better in Michigan than anywhere else in the country. Because no-fault pays for life for all necessary medical care it’s an incredible benefit.”
- Fox 2 Detroit’s Roop Raj: One big difference between No Fault and a pure tort liability system is that “[i]n a pure tort state, you’re going to get compensated for a broken wrist. In Michigan, [because of our auto accident threshold law of serious impairment of body function] depending on how that broken wrist has impaired your life, you may get compensation or you may get nothing …”
To get the full stories, check out the video and article below.
What did attorney Steve Gursten say to WXYZ Detroit about the pros, cons of No Fault repeal?
Watch my interview with WXYZ Detroit’s Syma Chowdhry (in the video below) where I talk about the biggest pros and the biggest cons if Michigan switched from No Fault to a pure tort liability system.
What did attorney Steve Gursten tell Fox 2 Detroit about the difference between No Fault and pure tort?
In my interview with Fox 2 Detroit’s Roop Raj, I talk about one of the big differences between No Fault and pure tort which is Michigan’s requirement that people injured in an auto accident must first show that they have suffered a “serious impairment of body function” in order to bring a lawsuit against a negligent driver to receive compensation for their injuries.
Pure tort states do not have the “serious impairment of body function” threshold requirement and the negligent at-fault driver is responsible for all harms and losses that they cause. In addition, pure tort states have car insurance premiums that are significantly less expensive than Michigan’s auto No Fault insurance costs.