Logo      Miller & Tischler, P.C. 
26711 Northwestern Hwy. Ste. 200
Southfield, MI 48033 
(248) 945-1040  

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No-Fault News 
Winter 2011

26711 Northwestern Hwy. Ste. 200
Southfield, MI 48033
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Dear Friends,


We wish you a happy and safe Holiday Season.

The past several months have been active and challenging.  There have been several important new legal decisions which we have highlighted for you below.


In addition, we have been active in our efforts to educate both the community and our Michigan legislators regarding the evils of the proposed No-Fault legislation and how bad the proposed changes are for our citizens.  Rather than create choices, the changes will  severely curtail the choices and resources you will have if you or a loved one suffers a catastrophic injury in a motor vehicle accident.  If you are interested in assisting in this effort, please contact us for details as to how you can help.


Finally, we welcome two new babies to our fold - read on for the details!


Wayne, Ronni, Maureen and Mark
Firm News


  • M&T has been named in the 2011-2012 US News Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" rankings. 





As we close out the 2011 Season, we have two small additions to the M&T family. 


Maureen and Mike Kinsella, along with big brother Aidan, welcome the addition of Chase Joseph Kinsella to their family on October 21, 2011.  


Milea and Josh Vislosky welcome Sawyer Joshua Vislosky to their family on November 15, 2011.


Join us in welcoming the newest additions and in wishing them all the best. 

Legal Decisions and Verdicts 




As the holiday season is upon us and our year comes to an end, the legislature continues to debate a bill that threatens to reduce our current system of catastrophic coverage. The bill currently under consideration would allow people to choose coverages down to $500,000.  Many if not most people would choose this coverage out of ignorance, which would then prove grossly and tragically inadequate in the event of a catastrophic motor vehicle accident. As the discussion has advanced over recent months, it has become clear that there is little rationale to support this drastic change in a system that has worked so well for so many years.  The legislation won't save much money, as it is not even directed at collision/comprehensive coverages that are the real problem with Michigan auto premiums. It has also become clear that this proposed legislation would be disastrous to future injury victims, service providers, and taxpayers in general. However, the danger is not over as the bill still sits in the legislature. Please continue to contact your Senators and Representatives to express your strong, informed and heart-felt disagreement with this legislation.






On November 4th the Michigan Supreme Court issued an Order that reversed in part a published Court of Appeals decision, which had awarded the patient's attorney a fee from a provider's bill. In its Order, the Supreme Court held that the Detroit Medical Center, the provider in the case, is not liable for plaintiff's attorney's fee under the no-fault act, and the patient is responsible for payment of her own attorney fees. The Order also held that the patient's attorney did not create a common fund when he settled the claim for outstanding no-fault benefits, and therefore the Court of Appeals' reliance on the common fund exception to the American rule, that each party pays its own attorney's fees, was erroneous. Finally, the Court made clear that a provider's right to collect any outstanding balance from its patient cannot be extinguished without an explicit waiver or unequivocal acquiescence.   This case makes clear that patients' attorneys cannot rely on service provider bills as a source of their fees.  This case is a big help to our efforts to protect service provider charges from attorneys that they didn't intend to hire. It remains advisable to inform attorneys at the first moment that they do not represent your interests, unless of course you clearly wish to retain them.  To view the Order in its entirety please click here





 On December 2nd the Michigan Supreme Court denied an invitation from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to answer certified questions, one of which asked the Court to consider whether a bodily injury is suffered intentionally when a person engages in reckless conduct that would lead a reasonable person to know that injury was substantially certain to occur, even though there is no evidence that the injured person subjectively intended to cause the injury. Most pertinent to the Court's Order is the concurring opinion of Justice Young, in which he cites with approval almost 30 years of appellate law decisions that construct MCL 500.3105(4) "to require that an injured person subjectively intend the injury, not merely the act, in order for an insurer to be relieved of its obligation to pay...benefits." The case involves a young man that suffered a catastrophic brain injury when he climbed on top of a stopped vehicle, which then proceeded to accelerate forward and throw him to the ground. Though there existed no evidence that the young man intended to hurt himself, the insurer refused to pay any benefits based on its argument that the statute requires the imposition of an objective standard, i.e., if a person engages in a an act knowing that bodily injury is substantially certain to occur, then any resulting injury arises from an intentional act. The case now heads back to the United States District Court. M&T partner Mark Schreier represented Lighthouse.  This significant ruling blocks insurers from denying No-Fault coverage for merely reckless acts and confirms that disqualifications can only occur if the injured person intended to hurt himself, i.e., a suicide attempt.  We will keep you posted on developments. In the meantime, to view the Order in its entirety please click here.       





Mark Schreier handled this case in which the bus of a governmental agency struck our paraplegic client.  The case litigated for almost two years before settlement occurred shortly before trial.  Our client, a 32 year old mother of two young children, suffered a crush injury to her dominant arm and two broken fingers.  During her post accident hospital admission she also developed an ischial wound from which an infection eventually developed. The injuries required ongoing medical treatment.


The case involved many complicated medical issues.  Fifteen years before the subject accident, our client suffered a spinal cord injury.  The defense endeavored to relate most of our client's current medical problems to her preexisting spinal cord injury and paraplegia.  We presented a bigger picture of how the bus accident impacted every aspect of our client's life, significantly decreased her quality of life, impacted her relationships with family and friends, and dramatically affected her independence.



Ask Wayne


What if my home is not handicapWayne



Few homes are originally built barrier-free or handicap accessible. Thus, most homes require modification to meet your needs if you are catastrophically injured. Ramps, lifts, emergency exits, bathroom facilities, accessible kitchens and much more may be needed. Should your injuries require special accommodation, your No-Fault insurer is obligated to pay for all reasonably necessary modifications. To read the actual statute identifying home modifications as a compensable benefit click here.  



"RonniI hope all is well with you.  I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back with you, but I wanted to wait til "mission accomplished."  It was on Friday -11/11/11!  My beautiful, very high tech van made its way here, and is now in my garage.  I have to wait til tomorrow to really drive it, as I have to make it legal.  It has ALOT of bells and whistles, and is a little overwhelming.  Especially for someone like me, whose last vehicle was an '82 Chevy S10.  I was lucky to have a steering wheel!  I just want to take very good care of it, so it will last a long time.


There is a "check in the mail" for you, and I want to thank you for how reasonable your bill was.  I think you cut me a break, and I am very appreciative.  I think you're great, and so does Michelle.


I sent a letter to my state Rep re: the proposed changes to our MI No-Fault laws.  I really can't see even this Republican controlled state govt. changing the law that few Michiganders really want changed.  Alot of jobs are at stake, as well as the fact that without our no fault coverage, many of us will end up on Medicaid.  I don't see the state wanting that burden.


Anyway...I've got my wheels, and your assistance made it possible."


About Our Law Firm


Miller & Tischler, P.C.,  represents survivors of catastrophic brain and spinal injuries, their families and their professional service providers who are having difficulty pursuing their entitlement to receive No-Fault benefits for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents.  We help our clients understand how their No-Fault insurance may coordinate with other kinds of insurances they have whether it be private health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, Workers' Compensation, or Veterans benefits. We also assist our clients in learning about and obtaining all of the benefits to which they are entitled, whether they be individuals or service providers.


Let Us Help You.