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Miller & Tischler, P.C. 

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

  

Updated partners
M&T
No-Fault News
 
Winter 2015
  


 
Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Winter 2015 newsletter. We hope you are surviving another typical Michigan winter, complete with snowstorms and potholes! The good news is that Spring is just around the corner (according to that venerable authority Punxatawney Phil).

Sincerely,  
Wayne, Maureen and Milea

 

 

  
IMPORTANT LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS        
 

Our No-Fault community continues to be vigilant about dramatic changes that have been threatened over the last several years. Thus far, our No-Fault law remains largely intact. However, in January 2015, several legislative changes occurred to the No-Fault law: 

 

First, change in the status of golf carts. As we know, only injuries arising out of the use of "motor vehicles" can give rise to No-Fault benefits. For years, we have known that there are many vehicles that have motors that are excluded from the definition of "motor vehicles." These include most prominently motorcycles, ORVs, and farm tractors. Effective January 2015, the law has been amended to include golf carts in the list of things that can never be a "motor vehicle." 500.3101(2)(h)(v).

 

Second, change as to motorcycle ownership. As we know, owners of motor vehicles include not only title holders, but "constructive owners" (i.e., those who merely have the use of motor vehicles for more than 30 days). For many years, case law made clear that motorcyclists could only be owners by holding title. Effective January 2015, the law has been amended so that motorcyclists can now be constructive owners. 3101(2)(k)(ii). The significance of this is that all owners (title holders and constructive owners) must insure their vehicles. Failure to do so results in disqualification.

 

Third, broadening of the "unlawful taking" disqualification. The law has now been changed to read that a person is disqualified if the person "...was willingly operating or willingly using a motor vehicle or motorcycle that was taken unlawfully, and the person knew or should have known that the motor vehicle or motorcycle was taken unlawfully." This removes the old savings clause for persons who "reasonably believed that [they were] entitled to take and use the vehicle." 3113(a).

 

Fourth, a new disqualification appears for persons who operate "...a motor vehicle or motorcycle as to which he or she was named as an excluded operator as allowed under section 3009(2)." 3113(d).

 

So while we have avoided wholesale changes to the No-Fault law, be aware that there has been some significant legislative "nibbling."

  

VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS 

 

Wayne Miller settled an automobile negligence case for $237,500. Our client was out walking her dog a few houses from her own, when run down by a van. Our client suffered significant knee, back and neck injuries.

 

Sean Kelly obtained a verdict in a No-Fault service provider claim. The service provider performed physical therapy for a person who had a lengthy history of pre-motor vehicle accident back problems. However, the car crash was terrible and aggravated the pre-existing condition. The No-Fault insurer made no offer. Sean won a verdict of 100% of the charges (about $13,700). No-Fault penalties and Case Evaluation sanctions will dramatically increase the size of the verdict.

 

Wayne Miller settled a significant claim for No-Fault benefits for a TBI rehabilitation provider. The provider was paid voluntarily for many years for residential TBI services for 4 severely injured patients. With no warning, the No-Fault insurer suspended benefits in the fall of 2012 based on unsubstantiated rumors of patient abuse. None of the rumors involved the insurer's insureds, who were receiving exemplary care as documented by independent case managers. After a year of litigation, the insurer paid 100% of the outstanding charges, approximately $332,000.

  

  

Maureen Kinsella recently settled a significant case for a neurosurgical practice for $160,000.  Complex neurosurgery was emergently provided to a gentleman who was severely injured in a motor vehicle accident.  The No-Fault insurance company disputed the need for surgery and the manner in which it was performed.  After Maureen cross examined the defense expert, the insurance company agreed to pay 100% owed plus significant No-Fault penalties.  
 

  

M&T ABOUT TOWN 

  

Wayne Miller will be busy this winter and spring with a variety of lectures and presentations. 

 

Wayne is teaching his No-Fault insurance class at Wayne Law School for the 17th time during winter term, January through April 2015. 

 

He will be on a panel of judges and lawyers at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) No-Fault Summit on April 24, 2015. The discussion will concern the status of service provider claims under the No-Fault law. 

 

Wayne will next be discussing updates in the No-Fault law at the annual Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ) Rapid Fire Seminar on May 15, 2015.

 

And finally Wayne will be discussing service provider claims under the No-Fault law at the annual Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI) legal seminar on June 10, 2015.

 
   
 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

 
WELCOME ABOARD 

  

Miller & Tischler would like to welcome the newest addition to our firm, Melissa A. Brown.

 

Melissa received her B.A. cum laude from the University of Michigan - Dearborn in 2005.  She majored in both Political Science and Journalism. After graduating, she worked for State and Federal political figures before beginning law school. She attended Wayne State University Law School as a Dean's Scholar and earned her J.D. in 2014. During her time at Wayne Law, she participated in Moot Court and the Student Trial Advocacy Program (Mock Trial), and was an Associate Editor for the Journal in Law in Society. She was also a board member for the Keith Students for Civil Rights. Melissa is a member of the Michigan Association of Justice and has been a member of the State Bar of Michigan since 2014. 


Even more impressive, Melissa was a student in Professor Miller's No-Fault insurance class at Wayne Law School and received the highest grade in the class!


 

    

  

     

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.



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