Miller & Tischler, P.C. 

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


No-Fault News
Fall 2014

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Michigan No-Fault Law 


Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe we are already saying goodbye to another Summer!  As we head into the Fall season, we hope you are all doing well.

Wayne, Maureen and Milea





In recent years, we have faced the specter of serious and detrimental change to our No-Fault law. Draconian and ill-advised proposals have circulated through the legislature in recent years. Thus far, we have been successful in preventing these proposals from becoming reality.


It is not as well known that serious changes have already taken place in the No-Fault law through the judiciary, instead of through the legislature. Various Supreme Court decisions over the last several years  have worked a real change in the No-Fault law. One of the tactics used in these cases is to require higher standards of causal relationships than were previously required. For example, it has always been required that an injury arise out of a motor vehicle accident. However, in the Griffith decision (2005) followed by the Admire decision (2013), the Court imposed the additional requirement that the benefit sought must also relate to the motor vehicle accident. Therefore, in Admire (2013), the Court held that insurers are not required to purchase vans for wheelchair bound people. Rather, insurers are only required to modify vehicles that are already purchased by other means. If the injured person cannot purchase the vehicle, then there is nothing for the insurer to modify. Bad as this holding is, insurers have predictably over-interpreted the holding to mean that there is now a requirement that insurers only need to pay for things that an injured person did not need before the accident. This, most assuredly, is NOT what the Court said in Griffith/Admire. However, we are left with little confidence that the Court won't make even more draconian rulings in the future.  This has serious implications for claims for barrier free home accommodations and many other claims. 


So we can take some satisfaction that our No-Fault law remains largely the same with regard to legislative change. However, disaster can strike from the courts as well as the legislature. This is another call for broader vigilance and participation in our political process.  In particular, the election in November features a contest for potential Supreme Court Justices. There are excellent candidates for Supreme Court that deserve your support.  We strongly endorse William Murphy (currently Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals) and Richard Bernstein for Supreme Court Justice. Preservation of our No-Fault law requires a strong Supreme Court as well as a strong legislative presence.  





Wayne Miller obtained substantial settlements on a case where our client was knocked to the pavement by a car while lawfully walking in a pedestrian cross walk. Our client suffered numerous fractures as well as a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Wayne settled the negligence portion of this claim for $300,000 and the No-Fault insurance portion of the claim for $275,000 (leaving benefits open for the future). Key to the settlements was the careful cross-examination of defendant's neuropsychological IME doctors. These neuropsychologists made fundamental and insidious errors in the interpretation of their data, all to the benefit of their insurance customer. Settlements were obtained following the depositions of these neuropsychologists when these errors were revealed.




Home Modification - Admire Award 

Maureen obtained a significant award in a home modification case recently.  Her client is a quadriplegic as a result of a motor vehicle accident in 1999.  While one home had been modified, he was no longer residing in that home and had purchased a ranch-style home that required significant modifications.  After a day-long Arbitration hearing and significant argument regarding the Admire v Auto Owners ruling, the Arbitration Panel awarded: 1) $574,500 to her client for modification expenses and home purchase; 2) 65% of all utilities, insurance and taxes to be paid by the insurance company for a period of 5 years; 3) temporary rental while construction / modification is underway; and 4) payment of penalty interest and attorney fees.  Key to the award was providing detailed proof to the Arbitration Panel about the reasonable necessity of the extensive modifications; arguing that under Admire the entire cost is compensable if the need is wholly different than it existed before the accident; and highlighting the insurance company's failure to respond to even small out-of-pocket accommodation expenses over the course of years.  




Miller & Tischler would like to welcome three new additions to our firm.


First is our newest attorney, Racine M. Miller.  Racine is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and licensed to practice in the United States District Courts for the Eastern and  Western Districts of Michigan as well as the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Racine practiced government liability and appellate litigation prior to joining Miller & Tischler.    


Next is Christopher Adams.  Christopher received a B.A. from Cornell University in 2010 - majoring in both English Literature and Asian Studies - and graduated cum laude from Wayne State University Law School in 2014.    Chris took the State Bar exam in July and we are eagerly awaiting the results.  


Lastly, help us welcome paralegal, Regina Ozias.  Regina received her paralegal certification from the American Institute for Paralegal Studies in Southfield and has worked as a paralegal in the area of No-Fault Automobile Insurance for the past 25 years.





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.