LEGISLATIVE ATTACKS ON MICHIGAN NO-FAULT
IT IS MISLEADING TO SAY MICHIGAN NO-FAULT BENEFITS ARE “UNLIMITED” BECAUSE THE STATUTE EXPRESSLY LIMITS THEM TO “REASONABLE CHARGES” FOR “REASONABLY NECESSARY” PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND ACCOMMODATIONS”
The Michigan No-Fault Act (MCL 500.3101 et. seq.) came into being in 1973. In exchange for severely limiting the right to sue negligent drivers, victims were promised certain benefits payable without regard to fault. Since the inception of the Act there have been increasing attempts to amend it to reduce the No-Fault Benefits for catastrophically injured people, originally provided in exchange for limiting the right to sue.
One of the main arguments posed for legislative change to reduce benefits for catastrophically injured people is that Michigan No-Fault Benefits are “unlimited.” HOWEVER, THIS IS MISLEADING BECAUSE THE STATUTE EXPRESSLY LIMITS BENEFITS TO “REASONABLE CHARGES” THAT ARE “REASONABLY NECESSARY.”
Section 3107.1(a) of the Michigan No-Fault Act states…”benefits are payable for…allowable expenses consisting of all reasonable charges incurred for reasonably necessary products, services and accommodations for an injured person’s care, recovery or rehabilitation.” This language provides for judicial limitation of benefits to only what is “reasonable.”
Since the birth of The No-Fault Act in 1973 a huge body of case law has arisen interpreting what is and is not “reasonable.” This case law serves to protect and balance the interests of insurance companies, health care providers and accident victims.
Having practiced law in Michigan for more than 35 years, I respectfully encourage our legislature to leave our No-Fault Act intact and not be mislead by inexact sound-bites such as “unlimited.” Our Courts are quite capable of reasonably applying the law when disputes between health care providers, insurers and/or accident victims arise.
Attorney (Michigan Bar #P-26299)
1594 Kings Carriage
Grand Blanc, Michigan 48439