February 16, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Michigan's No-Fault Medical Coverage May Come to an End
Article provided by Joseph T. Barberi, P.C.
Visit us at http://www.josephbarberi.com/
Citing unacceptably high costs, advocates support a proposal in the Michigan legislature that would eliminate Michigan's mandatory no-fault car insurance system. As it now stands, no-fault coverage for injuries sustained by a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle accident provides up to $500,000 for medical expenses. Once the $500,000 limit is reached, medical costs are paid from the catastrophic claims fund, with essentially no limits over a lifetime.
Supporters of the existing law tell the story of one truck accident victim who needs the protection of Michigan's no-fault medical coverage. According to the Oakland Press, the woman was very badly hurt in a crash with a semi-trailer at age 24, and the mother of two suffered a stroke soon after surgery for a head injury received in the accident. She has required extensive rehabilitative care but still has paralysis in her left hand and arm. Thanks to physical, academic, recreational and occupational therapy, she was able to complete a nursing school course since the accident and is able to work as a nurse.
This woman's neurosurgery alone cost $125,000. She will require continuing therapy indefinitely to keep up her strength and mobility. She believes that her family would have gone bankrupt due to medical expense if not for the no-fault medical coverage.
Those who support the legislation to do away with mandatory no-fault coverage argue that it is not only too costly but also duplicates other medical coverage. Car insurance prices in Michigan are 20 to 25 percent higher than in nearby states due to the added cost of the no-fault plan. The average Michigan driver pays $1,035 in premiums, compared to $693 in Ohio and $700 in Indiana, according to the Insurance Institute of Michigan.
These other states have lower car insurance costs, say advocates for the proposal, because motorists can choose how much medical coverage to buy rather than being compelled to buy unlimited no-fault coverage.
Besides eliminating the mandatory no-fault coverage, the proposal before the legislature sets up a medical fee schedule comparable to that used for workers' compensation claims. Creating a set fee schedule, advocates maintain, will lower costs.
Whatever may happen to Michigan's no-fault medical coverage, people injured in motor vehicle accidents will continue to need strong advocacy to make sure they receive adequate compensation for their medical expenses. A personal injury attorney with experience in motor vehicle accident cases will be an indispensable ally for those recovering from a car accident injury.---
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