• Detroit Lawyers 14.11.2011 Comments Off on Michigan insurers complain that they can’t make enough money News Detroit

    Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system is very unpopular. With the insurance industry, that is.

    Whereas they can sell policies of defined, limited benefit amounts in other states, they are required by law in Michigan to sell everyone policies that cover unlimited lifetime medical benefits in the event they suffer catastrophic injuries in an auto accident. See: detroit mi personal injury attorneys

    The system – or at least one aspect of it – is unpopular with another group of people, and that is a certain subset of accident victims. They don’t like it because, when insurance companies try to deny claims for various and sundry reasons, the accident victims’ only recourse by law is to go to court. The insurers and their clients spend way too much time in Michigan courts fighting over benefits, because an insurance policy is a private contract, and the only way to enforce the terms of a contract is civil action.

    So if you’ve got a massive head injury and can’t work – but the insurance company’s doctor says you’re just fine and don’t need any more treatment – you need to hire your own attorney and take on the insurance company lawyers.

    There is a lot wrong with Michigan’s no-fault insurance law. But it’s hard to see how the reform proposal being championed by State Rep. Peter Lund (R-Shelby Township) solves any of them. Lund appears to accept the argument of the Insurance Institute of Michigan that lifetime benefits have caused costs to spin out of control. So Lund proposes to do away with unlimited lifetime benefits, and instead to give consumers a choice of three levels of coverage – $500,000, $1 million or $5 million.

    Proponents of this bill point to a survey by Epic Consulting that indicates 99.1 percent of all auto accidents result in medical bills of less than $250,000, which means, they say, that almost everyone would be just fine with the levels of insurance Lund proposes.

    But here’s the rub.

    If 99.1 percent of all accidents result in medical bills of less than $250,000, then how exactly are the state’s generous benefits supposed to be costing the insurers so much money? Would they have us believe that the 0.9 percent of accidents that exceed that amount are pushing them to bankruptcy? See : detroit mi car accident lawyer

    Because you should know that they are not. No auto insurer pays out more than $500,000 in medical benefits to any accident victim. Once the cost exceeds $500,000, the cost is taken on by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, which was created by the state but is a private company operated by the insurers. The MCCA is funded by an assessment that everyone pays along with their insurance bills.

    And lest you think the MCCA is being driven to the poor house by these costs, it is not. Far from it. Very far from it. How far? During fiscal year 2010, MCCA paid out $816 million in claim reimbursements on 1,348 cases, while taking in $827 million in assessment income and $526.5 million in investment income.

    Pretty good, huh? But you don’t know the half of it. The MCCA also has asset reserves – are you sitting down? – of $12.9 billion. That’s more than one-quarter the amount of Michigan’s entire state budget. You read that right. The MCCA has enough money to bankroll all state government operations for the first three months of the year. That’s some serious money.

    The reason MCCA has that much money is that it is trying to remain actuarially sound – and it’s done one heckuva good job – such that it would have enough resources to pay all the lifetime benefits of its current caseload in the event it could no longer collect assessments or investment income.

    So while Michigan insurers complain that they can’t make enough money, they are running the board of the MCCA, which has an enormous asset base and is expanding it each year. That $12.9 billion could do an awful lot to mitigate the costs of no-fault insurance. But it won’t. It will sit in the coffers of the MCCA, which continues to collect assessments that currently cost each insured motorist $150 a year.

    Lund’s proposed solution, rather, is to introduce “consumer choice” in the form of three levels of coverage. This, he says, will allow motorists to buy the level of coverage that suits their needs.

    And how, exactly, does Lund know what any given motorists’ need would be? How would a motorist know? No one chooses to be in an auto accident and suffer even $1 worth of injuries. No one knows if or when they will be maimed for life. So no one can intelligently determine what their level of need will be.

    For the 99.1 percent whose medical costs do not exceed $250,000, the new levels of coverage will indeed be just fine. For those who do not, the law graciously permits them to try to find someone to sue for the additional coverage they need.

    That’s not much a reform, now is it? Lots of Michigan residents already have to sue, just to get the coverage they’ve already paid for. The difference, of course, is that under the present system, a lot of them actually win.

    Under Lund’s brave new no-fault world? Hey, there’s always Medicaid, folks! And what kind of fiscal condition is Medicaid in? Oh. Right. Not good. Maybe Medicaid could borrow some money from the MCCA.

    Dan Calabrese is a Michigan View.com columnist. He is also editor-in-chief of The North Star National and author of the spiritual thriller “Powers and Principalities,” a story set in Royal Oak, Michigan( http://www.dancalabresebooks.com)

    ? 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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  • Detroit Lawyers 24.10.2011 Comments Off on Pedestrian injury accidents linked to texting. Get the facts, Michigan! – Allen Park, MI

    Pedestrian accidents happen fast in Michigan. In 2010, a total of 129 pedestrians died in auto accidents and 2,113 pedestrians were injured, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. The vast majority of accidents happen while pedestrians are crossing at an intersection. Sometimes, distracted drivers hit pedestrians. Other times, it’s the pedestrians who are distracted. A startling new study highlights the link between pedestrian accidents and texting.

    Have you been injured in a pedestrian accident in Michigan? Injured by a distracted driver in Detroit? You need an experienced Detroit Auto Accident Lawyer driven to succeed. You need the Law Offices of Goodman Acker. A determined Detroit personal injury lawyer at our law firm is ready to meet with you to carefully review the details of your case. Allow us to help you determine the best course of action. Pedestrian injury accidents can be complicated. Knowing what to do can be confusing. Put your trust in a Detroit MI personal injury lawyer who puts people first. Contact the Law Offices of Goodman Acker.

    Here’s a sobering statistic. If you’re texting while crossing the street, you’re four times more likely to be hit by a car than someone who’s not texting. Specifically, you have a 25 percent chance of being hit by a vehicle while crossing the street if you’re texting. If you are not texting, you have a 6 percent chance of being struck by a car, according to scientific study conducted by the Youth Safety Laboratory at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    Injuries sustained in a pedestrian injury accident can take weeks or months or even years to recover from. You might need to stay in a hospital for an extended period of time. You might require extensive physical therapy. Insurance companies should cover such expenses. Sometimes, they don’t. Often, they do everything they can to avoid paying you what they rightfully owe you.

    Don’t let insurance companies push you around. Fight back! Contact a tough Detroit law firm who will give you the upper hand. Contact the Law Offices of Goodman Acker. We’re on your side.

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  • Detroit Lawyers 13.10.2011 Comments Off on The Effect of Michigan’s Auto No-Fault – Vote NO on HB496 Law News-lawyer auto Michigan

    Do you know that you will not be able to Vote on this bill? HB 4936. We? must let our House Representatives know that we require them to defeat this dangerous bill on our behalf. ?

    Detroit Michigan Personal Injury Attorney, Medical Malpractice & Accident Attorney

    At Goodman Acker, PC, we will fight hard on your behalf. As part of our commitment to our clients, we always try to respond as quickly and carefully as possible to your legal needs. See: Truck Accident Lawyer Detroit We temper the speed of our service with the need to be thorough. We don’t want just to take care of your legal needs quickly; we want to take care of them correctly. We promise to try to get you the results you need and deserve. This can only be accomplished by having experienced, dedicated legal professionals on your side.

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