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Oakland County exec. speaks out against no-fault insurance reform

As we have previously discussed in this Detroit Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog, Michigan state's lawmakers have been working on reforming the auto accident no fault law. In fact, in January Gov. Rick Snyder called for significant changes to the current policy during his State of the State speech. In general, the governor and other proponents of reforming the law would like to limit the size of medical claims after car accidents.

Of course, some lawmakers and citizens disagree, finding that car accidents are life-changing situations that result in extreme burdens, including those of the financial sort. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson recently voiced his staunch opposition to reforming no-fault insurance law.

The executive was in a serious car accident in August, sustaining broken bones and spending weeks in the hospital--17 days of which he was in a coma. His driver was paralyzed in the car accident. The crash, however, was not the reason for his opposition, as he had been studying the issue as early as last spring.

Additionally, in his case, workers' compensation benefits are covering the steep medical expenses incurred in the accident.

As the no-fault insurance system currently functions, Michigan drivers pay an annual fee, which is currently set at $175, to the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association. This association then reimburses insurers for car accident claims that reach beyond $500,000.

While the governor has said that the system hampers the state's economy, Brooks says that more study should be done before making changes. Specifically, he wrote on his website, financial information should be sought from an independent third party.

The future of no-fault auto insurance, and its impact on the victims of catastrophic car accidents, remains to be seen.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Crash victim L. Brooks Patterson weighs against no-fault insurance reforms," Kathleen Gray, Feb. 20, 2013

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