Miller & Tischler, P.C. 

28470 W. 13 Mile Rd. Ste. 300
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
(248) 945-1040


No-Fault News
Spring 2014

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Michigan No-Fault Law 


Dear Friends,

This issue is dedicated to the memory of our dear friend and partner, Ronni Tischler.

Wayne, Maureen and Milea






As you may know, 2 important new laws were passed by the Michigan legislature and signed into law by Governor Snyder in December 2013. These two pieces of legislation took effect on January 1, 2014, with the hope that they would limit direct solicitation of auto accident victims in the first 30 days after an accident.


HB 4770 became MCL 257.503 (motor vehicle code). It provides that for 30 days after a police report is filed with a law enforcement agency, the report may only be accessed if a statement is filed indicating that the person seeking the report acknowledges that he/she is prohibited from (a) using the report for any direct solicitation of an individual listed in the report or (b) disclosing any personal information in the report to a third party for commercial solicitation of an individual listed in the report.  A knowing violation of this section is a misdemeanor and carries with it a harsh punishment - a fine of not more than $30,000 for the first offense, and for subsequent violations, imprisonment of up to 1 year, or a fine of not more than $60,000, or both.


HB 4771 became MCL 750.410b (penal code). It provides that a person shall not intentionally contact any individual who has sustained injury in an auto accident (or an immediate family member of that individual) with a direct solicitation to provide a service until 30 days after the date of the accident.  This section echoes the same punishment as in the previous section, but also provides that an individual convicted of violating this section may be ordered to pay the costs of prosecution.


So what does this mean for medical service providers of individuals who have been injured in auto accidents?  As long as the information contained in a police report is not used to solicit an individual within 30 days after the accident date, the report can be obtained without running afoul of the law.  Typically, our service provider clients already have their patients, so the police report is obviously not used for purposes of solicitation. Rather, police reports are often needed to obtain for purposes of investigating insurance coverage. So we do not anticipate any issues in obtaining police reports for our service provider clients.


As far as filing a statement in order to access an accident report, the only encounter we have had with this requirement so far is in obtaining reports online through the CLEMIS website, Oakland County's Courts and Law Enforcement Management Information System.  In order to enter the system and obtain an accident report, users must click that they agree that they have read and understood specific laws of the State of Michigan, including the above.  The Michigan State Police website, however, has no such requirement.  Given that these laws just went into effect on January 1, 2014, it is possible that other outlets have not caught up just yet.  However, we will continue to keep you informed of any significant changes.




No-Fault "reform" efforts continue in the legislature. Essentially, these efforts involve the removal of our unlimited No-Fault benefit system, and replacement with numerous methods of essentially punishing those who would make claims under the law. In return, there are vague and weak promises of short term and small premium reductions. Most recently, the insurance industry and their captive legislators have released a self-serving poll indicating that more than 60% of the people favor reducing premiums even at the expense of some benefits. This kind of polling is dangerously misleading. This is because EVERYONE wants lower premiums; who wouldn't? However, the public does not understand that the reforms that are proposed would not significantly reduce premiums and would significantly reduce access to care following motor vehicle accidents.  This kind of false advocacy requires ever more vigilance on all of our parts to make sure all of our friends and family understand what is at stake here. One argument that bears repeating is that the single most expensive coverage in our auto insurance policies is collision coverage (often by far). This coverage, NOT No-Fault insurance, is what drives high premiums in Michigan. The proposed legislation does NOTHING to address this problem.




One of the most common questions we have heard recently is what effect if any will the advent of  the Affordable Care Act (the "ACA", also known as "Obamacare") have on payment of No-Fault benefits.  Perhaps surprisingly, our early opinion is that the ACA will have little effect on payment of No-Fault benefits. This discussion basically involves the relationships between No-Fault insurers and other potential payors. In a broad sense, most Americans are covered by a combination of Medicare, Medicaid, and other private insurers (often through employment based "ERISA" plans).  The ACA essentially expands this coverage in 2 main ways: a significant expansion of Medicaid eligibility (to bring more low income people in the program); and by the "individual mandate" (requiring the purchase of health insurance coverage by those who can afford to do so). So the ACA does not so much create new insurance programs as it does mandate expansion of existing methods of health care coverage.  The relationships between No-Fault insurance and other sources of health care coverage are fairly well established after 40+ years of practice under the No-Fault Law.  Thus, it is our early expectation that coverage required under the ACA will be made available through the same mechanisms as in the past. As such, it is our early expectation that the well-established rules for coordination of various health care coverages under the No-Fault Act will continue as before. We will of course advise as to case law developments in this and all areas of the No-Fault Law.



As wonderful as the No-Fault Law is, it is administered by No-Fault insurers of different philosophies and capabilities as to claims handling. Our practice is dominated by cases where No-Fault insurers are dreadfully non-compliant with their obligations under the law. Fortunately, there are penalty provisions in the No-Fault Law. These provisions include 12% simple interest for benefits that are overdue, and penalty attorney fees for benefits that are overdue with no reasonable basis. M&T strives to enforce these penalties wherever possible, both to encourage the No-Fault insurers to improve their claims practices, and to compensate our clients for delays in payment. Recently, Wayne Miller was able to impose penalties of $100,000 on top of a $500,000 hospital bill that was paid very late for no reason. Andrew Horne likewise obtained a penalty of $77,000 on top of a $283,000 hospital bill that was delayed for no good reason. Sometimes insurers have reasonable bases for questioning claims. But it is disappointing to see how often insurers will delay for no good reason. When there is no good reason for delay, we pursue penalties.  







Miller & Tischler welcomes our newest attorney, Claire D. Vergara.  Claire  is a graduate of the Thomas M. Cooley law school, where she was an Honors Scholarship Recipient, consistent Dean's List member, and a Certificate of Merit Recipient in Immigration Law. Claire is excited to immerse herself in the land of No-Fault Insurance.



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 assist our clients in learning about and obtaining all of the benefits to which they are entitled, whether they be individuals or service providers.  We also represent our clients with their auto negligence and wrongful death claims.  In other words, we are a full service auto No-Fault law firm. 


Let Us Help You.